Contribution to ICRC's Activities in Ukraine under the ICRC Disability and Mine Action Appeal 2017
The overall objectives of the program are 1) to make people, especially children who live along the line of contact in Eastern Ukraine aware of the threat of weapon contamination and knowledgeably reduce their exposure to risks of mine accidents; 2) at the same time the program aims to help disabled people regain their mobility and dignity in two physical rehabilitation centers in Donetsk and Luhansk.
The Austrian contribution of 500.000 EUR will finance the ICRC's ongoing efforts and will allow ICRC to make a difference to an estimated 6,250 people. Specifically:
- up to 250 physically disabled people in conflict affected areas of Donetsk and Lugansk are able to regain their mobility through physical rehabilitation services;
- up to 6,000 people, living in the conflict area all along the line of contact are less affected by, and reduce their exposure to, the risks of weapon contamination and unexploded mines.
The target group comprises 250 physically disabled people in Eastern Ukraine, plus 6,000 people affected by the severe risk of mine accidents in areas mined as a result of the ongoing conflict.
The ICRC works in close cooperation with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.
The program is implemented in Donetsk and Lugansk as well as along the line of contact in Eastern Ukraine.
Activities in support of physically disabled people include: a) informing people about the ICRC supported services available to them and helping them access these services without geographical or financial barrier; b) provide assistive devices such as walking aids or wheel chairs as well as good quality physiotherapy by trained staff.
Activities regarding mine risk awareness include: c) identify and mark areas contaminated by mines/other explosive remnants of war in coordination with the local authorities; d) mine--risk awareness sessions for pupils; e) provide protective equipment and training for local emergency services ; f) provide technical guidance and funding to Ukrainian Red Cross Society and thus strengthen the local partner’s capacities to teach people about the risks of mines/explosive remnants of war.
Civilians continue to feel the effects of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. According to UN and government estimates, some 2.8 million people are displaced within Ukraine or have fled abroad, and around 22,500 have been wounded and over 9,600 killed; hundreds of others have been reported missing since the conflict began in 2014. The remains of hundreds of people are still unidentified.
In many places, basic services, including health care, have been disrupted. Houses, schools and utility networks have sustained considerable damage; structures near the front line are at risk of further destruction. Water, electricity and gas lines have been damaged during the fighting; the need for security guarantees from the parties to the conflict, and the threat posed by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), have delayed repairs and threaten people’s access to these essential utilities. Many people need help to meet their basic needs as they are unemployed, as farms have been destroyed and factories have lost access to raw materials, and in some areas, markets and/or the banking system no longer function. Following government directives issued in 2014 and 2015, State funding remains unavailable to people and public institutions in non-government-controlled areas, and the passage of people and goods across the front line continues to be restricted.
Since 2014, the ICRC has expanded its presence in Ukraine to help protect and assist conflict-affected people in the eastern part of the country. It responds to emergency and early-recovery needs, notably by providing relief, facilitating access to medical care and other essential services, and restoring family links. It seeks access to all persons deprived of their freedom. In dialogue with all parties to the conflict, it supports efforts to clarify the fate of missing persons and encourages compliance with IHL. The ICRC supports the Ukrainian Red Cross Society in improving its emergency preparedness and delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The ICRC has appealed for a total of 2.9 Mio CHF for its Ukrainian disability and mine action program 2017.