In 2014, Ukraine was destabilized in the east by a conflict between the government and the separatist territories of Donbass, which proclaimed themselves the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The clashes caused the death of more than 3,300 civilians and left up to 9,000 injured. During 2014, 5.4 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, particularly the elderly, women and children. While hostilities have never ceased since that time, there is a resurgence of tension in the year 2021.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invades Ukraine, triggering the largest refugee and IDP crisis in Europe since World War II. By the first quarter of 2023, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 8.2 million Ukrainian refugees have spread across Europe and that since Russia's invasion of Ukraine the number of civilian casualties has risen to 8,451 dead and 14,156 injured. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in the first quarter of 2023 is estimated at 17.4 million.
TGH has implemented a community support programme for isolated elderly people, a voucher distribution system to meet the basic needs of isolated and vulnerable populations living near the contact line, and protection activities for those in need of psychosocial and legal/administrative support.
Community support Programme
Individuals recruited in each community (mostly women who have lost their livelihoods) make home visits to isolated elderly people, providing presence and assistance in some daily tasks, especially in preparing for the winter period (building up stocks of coal, wood and water).
A network of 410 community volunteers has been set up, active even without any funding.
71% of the elderly assisted by TGH live alone, and 61% report having had more contact with the outside world before the conflict.
A dematerialised coupon system that leaves the choice of products to the beneficiaries
TGH provides an innovative and effective response to the chronic lack of resources with an electronic coupon system. Beneficiaries receive a dematerialised coupon that they can exchange in more than 100 partner stores for different types of essential products.
To date, more than 19,000 households along the 457 kilometres of the Line of Contact have benefited from this system, 14,000 households have received coupons to cover their hygiene needs and 2,000 people among the most vulnerable and closest to the Line of Contact have received multifunctional coupons to cover their basic needs.
This system has advantages for all parties involved: the beneficiaries adapt their purchases to their needs; TGH can monitor the products requested, and therefore the direct needs of the beneficiaries.
The conflict has a significant impact on the protection and mental health of the population. Since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, TGH has implemented several activities to ensure the protection of people affected by the conflict.
Psychosocial support activities in various forms are organized by psychologists and social workers (from TGH and its partners) in community centers for displaced people and children. A remote support system is also in place via a hotline, offering the possibility for anyone in need to benefit from psychosocial support sessions.
TGH has also set up a legal aid service provided by lawyers via a toll-free number to guide people in need of documentation (administrative, registration of displaced persons, border crossings).