Since April 2014, Eastern Ukraine has been beset by political and military armed conflict, opposing pro-European Ukrainians and pro-Russian separatists in the self-declared Republic of Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk. On the ground, public services are deteriorating day by day due to a lack of funds, whilst accessing first aid has become a daily struggle. Spiralling armed violence has led to regular attacks against public transport, supermarkets, schools and health centres. And, despite the Minsk II agreements which established a ceasefire in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the fighting continues.
Description of the mission
Première Urgence Internationale has had a presence in Ukraine since March 2015. Their initial evaluation mission prior to arrival acknowledged the urgency of the humanitarian situation and the need for localized intervention to fulfil the basic needs of those most affected by the conflict.
Première Urgence Internationale also initiated a number of cross-sector evaluations in the north of Donetsk between December 2014 and January 2015. The critical situation in the cities of Kostiantynivka (under government control) and Horlivka (under separatist control) and the complete lack of humanitarian aid prior to the arrival of Première Urgence Internationale at the beginning of 2015 has ensured these areas have received particular focus.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
Première Urgence Internationale’s primary objective in Ukraine is to restore and improve health services for the most vulnerable in Eastern Ukraine by developing existing health centres as well as providing new equipment and basic medical provisions: Première Urgence Internationale has, for example, given the most vulnerable people access to free medicines by means of a voucher exchange programme. With regards to medical services, the mission will continue to expand its work by providing psychological first aid care to patients with chronic mental health conditions.
Other objectives in Ukraine include food security, WASH requirements, education and the renovation of infrastructure. From the outset, PUI’s work in Ukraine has sought to ensure that humanitarian aid is provided to both sides within the conflict zone, in the interest of fairness and neutrality.