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Ukraine Country Strategic Plan 2019-2021

Save the Children
Publication date

History of Save the Children in Ukraine (2014-2018)

Since 2007, Save the Children has been working in Ukraine through a consortium partnership with local organisations to strengthen children's rights.

Since 2014, we have responded to the conflict emergency by providing emergency and lifesaving interventions in eastern Ukraine with local partners, addressing children's and their families' needs in protection, shelter, food security and livelihoods, education and health. The contact line is the demarcation line that separates Government Controlled Areas (GCA) and Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA).

In 2016, the operation shifted near the contact line of Donetsk and Luhansk and expanded with new activities through a more integrated approach with resilience and gender sensitive programming.

The main office moved from Dnipropetrovsk to Sloviansk (Donetsk GCA), closer to the conflict-affected areas where most of the humanitarian needs are.

From Sloviansk office, we currently operate in Donetsk and Luhansk GCA and Donetsk NGCA in the sectors of child protection, education and child poverty. We are now operating through a Country Office with a strategic period spanning 2019-2021 to keep addressing humanitarian needs and support development processes in eastern Ukraine in the areas of education, child protection and child poverty, based on the principles of gender equality, inclusion, resilience, child participation and child safeguarding.


3.1 Humanitarian child protection needs

According to the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, there are 465,000 children (209,250 boys, 255,750 girls) in need of protection. Children are facing protection risks such as shelling, mines/ERW, all forms of violence (including physical, emotional, sexual), neglect, psychological distress, lack of documentation. Children are particularly vulnerable due to their weakened protective environment: family separation, displacement, and constant shelling all result in extreme stress, sleep and concentration problems, bed-wetting, hair loss, avoidance, intrusive memories, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior and social isolation. Many children experience violence and neglect in households where parents increasingly rely on negative coping mechanisms. Children have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of protection in both GCA and NGCA. The situation in NGCA is probably worse due to lack of access to appropriate services. Gender-based violence is a high risk, especially for girls, and reports have been made about resorting to survival sex to support their families.The contact line is also becoming one of the most mine-contaminated areas in the world: 220,000 children along the contact line are at risk of landmines and explosive remnants of war.