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11.10.21

Ecological and industrial disasters affect millions of people every year worldwide, but much of their impact can be reduced through proactive measures and planning. The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, held each year on October 13th, aims to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge losses in lives, livelihoods, and health, and highlight the progress being made toward reducing disaster risk.

Addressing disaster risks, such as the ones degrading the environment, is extremely relevant for Ukraine. Daily shelling in eastern Ukraine occurs in the proximity of chemical enterprises and critical water infrastructures and utilities such as water and heating mains, as well as assets. The flooding of coal mines, or wildfires, have the potential to trigger a large-scale ecological disaster, putting the population and economy of the region at risk. Capacity building via dedicated trainings, planning and provision of equipment of local communities, local authorities, first responders and other stakeholders are therefore essential to increase disaster resilience.

The ACTED-led 3P Consortium (Prevent, Protect, Prepare) – including its partners IMPACT Initiatives, Right to Protection, Ukrainian Red Cross Society, and the Danish Red Cross – have been working to reduce the vulnerability to these risks in eastern Ukraine since 2019. With support from the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, the European Union and UK Aid from the British people, 3P hasincreased the resilience toward disaster risks of more than 180 000 people so far through their activities.

The Head of the EU Humanitarian Aid office in Ukraine, Srdjan Stojanovic,said: “The European Commission is at the forefront of promoting disaster risk reduction and anticipatory actions. The EU invests in early warning systems and monitoring, and helps countries strengthen their national and local preparedness systems to respond earlier and better.”

In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 2030, 3P partners work on three key aspects of disaster risk management:

Risks: National and local strategies for disaster risk reduction are key to reducing mortality and the numbers of disaster-affected people. The 3P Consortium, together with local authorities, has developed disaster risk reduction plans and strategies for accidents, catastrophes, pandemics, and ecological and industrial disasters for 5 raions in eastern Ukraine. In addition, the 3P Consortium is providing local authorities and first responders with equipment to build up their capacities to respond in an organized, informed, and quick manner to emergencies. Moreover, the longstanding conflict in eastern Ukraine has further compounded the vulnerability of people and systems, and evidence-based local planning and response capacity remains more important than ever. This is why, to increase local authorities’ and communities’ understanding of and preparedness to risks, the #3PConsortium developed 5 Area Based Risk Assessments used as basis for risks prioritization by authorities. These were developed and shared with the communities and local authorities as a background for risk management plan development.

People: The 3P Consortium is working with communities in eastern Ukraine to increase their resilience, preparedness, and capacity to cope with relevant hazards through emergency planning sessions and simulations. As a result, 37 communities of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, thanks to the participation of 400 people, have become more prepared against industrial and environmental threats.

A recent example of 3P’s work is the development of an educational online game on Family Emergency Preparedness (FEP), designed to increase the preparedness of those living in eastern Ukraine for emergencies. The goal of the game is to form a stockpile of necessary family items for a 2-week lockdown as well as a 3-day personal emergency bag and prepare a car in case you have to leave your home. This simulation aims to teach practical skills in an informative and playful way.

Law: Taking into account the ongoing decentralization processthroughout Ukraine where more resources and responsibility now fall to local government units than before, it is essential to continue conducting analytical research to adapt preparedness and response planning to the projected new administrative boundaries and responsibilities. This is why the 3P Consortium is conducting a study of strategic documents at national, regional and local levels against Disaster Risk Reduction aspects. As a result, 3P partners will develop strategies at all levels with respective planning, budgeting and prioritizing.

“The 3P Consortium is continuing to provide technical and planning support for eastern settlements and administrative entities, as started 3 years ago. Meanwhile, recent wildfires are showing a very important concerns from local residents with extremely severe impacts, exacerbated by climate change and degradation of the natural resources. These are priorities which have been not addressed for many years, with a high susceptibility to cause major disruption” said Benoit Gerfault, 3P Consortium Coordinator.

By reducing vulnerability and increasing the capacities of various stakeholders – such as local authorities, communities, and first responders – to identify, plan for, cope with, and mitigate risks, 3P Consortium members are on the right path to achieve their overall objective: to enhance local absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacity of communities, and improve local authorities’ ability to understand, govern and manage disaster risks in eastern Ukraine.

Notes:

The 3P Consortium, formed in 2019, comprises a group of international and national NGOs engaged in Ukraine – ACTED, IMPACT Initiatives, Right to Protection, the Danish Red Cross, and the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. Under the leadership of ACTED, the 3P Consortium works to support the reduction of disaster risk vulnerability in eastern Ukraine. 3P partners are united by their desire to prevent, prepare and protect – the ‘3P’ – civilian populations and critical service systems against the risks of natural, ecological, and industrial disasters in eastern Ukraine.

3P Consortium Partners:

ACTED http://www.acted.org – is a French humanitarian organization present in 39 countries and supporting over 16 million beneficiaries worldwide. ACTED works to save lives and support people in meeting their needs in hard to reach areas. ACTED first responded to the crisis in Ukraine in 2015, with its partner IMPACT through the REACH Initiative. In 2017, ACTED also started implementing emergency preparedness and contingency planning activities jointly with local authorities in conflict-affected areas. Today, ACTED provides a variety of humanitarian and development assistance in Ukraine including emergency cash distribution to cover basic, food security, and winterization needs of the most vulnerable; early recovery and economic stability activities such as livelihood grants and women’s economic empowerment; and capacity building support to CSOs and local authorities within the framework of decentralization.

IMPACT Initiatives https://www.impact-initiatives.org is a leading Geneva-based think-and-do tank. Together with sister organization ACTED and UNOSAT, IMPACT launched the REACH Initiative in 2010, which provides granular data, timely information and in-depth analysis from contexts of crisis, disaster and displacement to feed into evidence-based aid response and decision-making. Since 2016, the REACH initiative has been leading annual interagency humanitarian needs assessments to inform the Humanitarian Needs Overview and Response Plans in Ukraine. IMPACT–including through REACH –also provides continuous information management and geographic information systems support and capacity building to humanitarian agencies and clusters. IMPACT has been providing capacity reinforcement and technical support to local authorities in eastern Ukraine since 2016.

Right to Protection (R2P) – is a Ukrainian not-for profit organization. R2P is dedicated to protecting refugees who find themselves in Ukraine due to dire circumstances. R2P ensures the protection and human rights of other vulnerable migrants -the conflict affected, the internally displaced (IDPs), the stateless, the undocumented and those at risk of statelessness. R2P’s key programmatic strengths are legal assistance, monitoring, advocacy as well as government and civil society capacity building. R2P has approximately 150 staff members working across Ukraine.

Danish Red Cross (DRC) https://www.rodekors.dk is part of the Red Cross Movement, which operates in over 190 countries and has more than 11 million volunteers. DRC provides aid particularly in areas with very limited access and complex crises in more than 30 countries over the world. Present since 2014 in Ukraine, DRC worksin close partnership with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS), and together have been addressing humanitarian and social needs in more than 15 regions of Ukraine through psychosocial support, cash assistance, and winterization response activities aiming at greater social cohesion. DRC is supporting branch, volunteer and youth development of the URCS, as well as enhancing preparedness and response capacities.

Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) https://redcross.org.ua/en/ is the largest national humanitarian organization in Ukraine. The main aims of URCS’s activities for more than 100 years has been to ensure human life protection, prevention and mitigation of human suffering during armed conflicts, natural disasters, catastrophes and accidents; support public healthcare services; and assist public authorities of Ukraine in their activities in the humanitarian field. This is achieved unbiasedly, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, gender, religion, language, class or political convictions. URCS is constantly present on the Line of Contact, supporting the population with different activities including humanitarian aid distribution, first aid trainings, psycho-social support and supporting activities for/with local communities. URCS also actively engages with ICRC operations in eastern Ukraine.

EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) https://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters and crises. Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

UK Aid https://www.ukaiddirect.org/ Funded by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, UK Aid Direct supports small and medium sized civil society organisations to deliver the Global Goals. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), which supports the 3P Consortium’s work, was launched by the British Government in 2015 and uses a whole-of-government approach to find creative solutions to meet the most complex national security challenges and promote international peace and stability. The CSSF operates in over 80 countries and territories, delivering more than 90 programmes and combines Official Development Assistance (ODA) and other, non-ODA funding sources. This gives the fund a broad geographic and thematic reach. The CSSF works to build peace and stability in countries at risk of instability as well as in regions suffering from long-running conflicts.

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) https://www.usaid.gov USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance provides life-saving humanitarian assistance—including food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services— to the world’s most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people. BHA is the lead federal coordinator for international disaster assistance, harnessing the expertise and unique capacities of other U.S. government entities to effectively respond to natural disasters and complex crises around the world. BHA takes a holistic look at humanitarian aid, providing assistance before, during and after a crisis— from readiness and response to relief and recovery. This includes non-emergency programming that is foundational to linking humanitarian assistance to long-term development and the journey to self-reliance

16.04.21

Today R2P presents the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for March 2021, prepared by the NGO ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2021

HIGHLIGHTS:    

  • This month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. The number of people crossing the contact line increased in March compared to February by 37%: 52,823 and 33,000 respectively.
  • On 18 March, Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was finally provided with free rapid antigen tests, and a state laboratory point was deployed. The large flow of people exceeded the available capacities, which resulted in long queues. Therefore, many people preferred to take a paid PCR test from either of five different trailers of private laboratories.
  • There were no places in the observation facility in Luhansk Oblast still. In March, in Donetska Oblast, 40 people were sent to the observation facility, all of them either had an inappropriate phone model or no phone at all. Also, 771 persons who crossed to GCA at Novotroiske EECP (81 percent) took the rapid antigen test, and 754 persons at Stanytsia Luhanska (one percent).
  • In line with R2P advocacy, on 22 March, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on quarantine COVID-19 measures that greatly facilitated the crossing procedure for foreigners. Therefore, foreigners who have permanent residence in Ukraine do not need to have insurance when crossing the contact line to GCA.
  • During March, 3,657 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.
Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, March 2021 Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», березень 2021 року

The report is available in 

English and in Ukrainian


The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the NGCA and administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of conflict-affected populations within the framework of the project ‘Advocacy, Protection, and Legal Assistance to IDPs’ implemented by R2P, with the support of UNHCR. The purpose of the survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts.

Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, March 2021 Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», березень 2021 року

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30.08.20

Repeatedly beaten by separatists in temporarily occupied Donetsk, Hennadii refused to join the war, so they burnt his identity documents; he spent years at-risk of statelessness, and he nearly died several times. 

Hennadii Orlov now lives in Sloviansk; he recently got his Ukrainian passport. For three years leading up to this point, he was on the verge of statelessness — he had nothing to prove who he was, or even the simple fact that he was a citizen of Ukraine. The journey to get to this point — to be recognized as a citizen of Ukraine, living in Ukraine — nearly killed him. Right to Protection (R2P), a legal advocacy non-profit in Ukraine, recently helped Mr. Orlov prove his identity and re-obtain his documents and his legal status as a Ukrainian citizen. 

Hennadii is turning 40 this year. He was born in Horlivka — 90 minutes by car northeast of Donetsk City, and an area currently under occupation by the Russian backed authorities of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic.’ Horlivka, much like most of Donetsk Oblast, is a region in decline—formerly a heart of industry and mining, and now a conflict zone pockmarked by abandoned factories that once provided steady jobs and shuttered mines that once made Donetsk the wealthiest province in the country. But Hennadii never reaped much advantage from the past industriousness of his home because his family was poor, and his parents passed away when he was young, and he has dystrophy in his right hand which makes it hard for him to perform the physical tasks required in the factories and the mines. He always struggled to find steady work, and this persistent challenge eventually led to some bad choices and a jail sentence in Luhansk. 

After serving his time, Hennadii returned home just in time to witness the pro-Russian separatists seize Horlivka’s municipal buildings at the beginning of their occupation. Then, in July of 2014, he witnessed the Battle of Horlivka in which the Ukrainian government attempted to retake the city. The battle lasted over a month and reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and devastated the city, but it made little impact on the demarcation lines. The Ukrainian government and the city’s de facto authorities signed a ceasefire on September 5th of that year, and the separatists maintained control of Horlivka. 

The Battle of Horlivka strained the capacities of the separatists, and as the war dragged on and on, it became critical for them to begin recruiting local civilians into their ranks. In the following years, Hennadii was regularly threatened and robbed by the local militias, and several times he was beaten within an inch of his life. Time and again, however, Hennadii refused to join the fighting. One night in December, 2017, the militia once again broke into his house to threaten and rob him, but this time they also burned his passport. 

After that, Hennadii’s wife and children fled to government-controlled areas where they moved in with her brother in Svyatohirsk. Hennadii couldn’t accompany them because he didn’t have the documents required to cross through the checkpoints. Instead, he says, he crossed illegally — traversing a minefield where he almost set-off a landmine. 

After getting into government-controlled areas, Hennadii travelled to Sloviansk, where he moved in with a friend. His difficulties were far from over, however, because he couldn’t get a job or receive any government assistance because he technically didn’t exist: “I didn’t have anything!” He recalls. “I only had an address in [non-government controlled Donetsk]. They were looking at me like I was a stupid person!” 

After having been on his own for years — with no work, no government assistance, and living apart from his family — Hennadii was despaired by the time he heard about Right to Protection’s legal services. He heard about them through a friend, and he immediately reached out to a local R2P office by phone. Protection Attorney Nataliia Ishchenko took him on as a client, and by the summer of 2019 they were able to obtain Hennadii’s birth certificate. Then, in April of 2020, he got his Ukrainian passport. 

Things still aren’t easy for Hennadi. His wife is working at a kindergarten in Svyatohirsk, but he can’t find work there, so he’s still in Sloviansk. He now has the documents he needs to obtain legal employment, but coronavirus added a layer of complication — very few companies are hiring, and he faces the uphill battle of getting a job after such a long employment gap. However, he remains hopeful, because his situation has improved: “I don’t know how I survived the past 3 years… If not for my friend, who helped me with housing, food and some small side-jobs, I would have probably died from hunger or have gone back to prison.” He’s still worried about providing for his family, but at least, he says, he has his documents. Now he’ll be legally allowed to marry his wife, and — when the opportunity arrives — he’ll be allowed to accept legal employment… At least he now legally exists. 

27.03.20

Submitting Application to Regional Department of State Migration Service (SMS) on obtaining refugee status or a person in need of complementary protection (choose your language to read below).

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Somali

04.03.20

Ukraine is a signatory to the Refugee Convention and participates with the corresponding state procedure for granting refugee status.

What should I bring with me before arriving in Ukraine?

Collect your most important personal things and the following documents:

  • passport document;
  • driver’s license;
  • birth certificates.

These documents will facilitate your identification process in Ukraine.

What is important?

Take with you as much evidence as possible which confirms persecution against you and your reasons for being unable to return to your country of origin. These may be documents, audio and video recordings, etc. These things will significantly increase your chances of obtaining refugee status or complementary protection in Ukraine.

“If you have any questions regarding the procedure for granting refugee status, please contact our Charitable Fund. Our lawyers will advise you on the details of the procedure and will accompany you throughout the procedure of obtaining protection in Ukraine.” — Oleksandra Zhurko, lawyer at Right to Protection, CF.