Response Plan Overview
PEOPLE IN NEED 2.9M
PEOPLE TARGETED 1.8M
REQUIREMENTS (US$) $190M
OPERATIONAL PARTNERS 119
Almost eight years of active fighting have had profound consequences on the lives of millions of people in the conflict-affected Donetska and Luhanska oblasts of eastern Ukraine. An estimated 2.9 million people are projected to need humanitarian assistance in 2022, with some 55 per cent living in the non-Government controlled area (NGCA).1 1 According to the national Ukrainian legislation, such areas have been defined as the temporarily occupied territories of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts.
In Government-controlled area (GCA), the severity of needs is lower, particularly in the communities farther from the “contact line”, leading to a lower number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in GCA. The lower severity is in part due to the support provided by the Government of Ukraine, civil society and development actors. The most severe humanitarian needs in GCA remain in areas close to the “contact line” where active hostilities continue. Older persons, persons with disabilities, female-headed households and children living in isolated villages are particularly vulnerable due to their limited mobility, continued exposure to shelling and landmine contamination and economic challenges.
In NGCA, the humanitarian needs remain severe and continue to deteriorate. Residents of NGCA have been most impacted by the limitations on movement across the “contact line” due to disproportional COVID-19 restrictions, mostly imposed in NGCA, increasing the number of people crossing to GCA through the Russian Federation. The resilience of the most vulnerable on both sides of the “contact line” has been worn thin, leading to a greater reliance on humanitarian assistance.
In 2022, humanitarian partners aim to assist 1.8 million people, including 144,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in GCA, with a funding requirement of $190 million. The target to assist 1.8 million people across the conflict-affected area is similar to the 2021 target and reflects the level of humanitarian response capacity and State ownership of the response as well as access restrictions and the development of COVID-19. The humanitarian response will span six sectoral areas – education, food security and livelihoods, health, protection, shelter/non-food items and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
The vast majority of the 1.8 million people targeted for humanitarian assistance live in the two conflict-affected oblasts of Luhanska and Donetska.
• 750,000 of the people targeted live in NGCA, accounting for 43 per cent of the overall target.
• 981,000 of the people targeted live in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts (GCA), accounting for 56 per cent of the overall target. It is important to note that the GCA target (of 981,000) includes 120,000 IDPs living permanently in the two oblasts GCA.
• 24,000 of the people targeted are IDPs living permanently in other oblasts across Ukraine, accounting for around 1 per cent of the overall target.
Among the most vulnerable are older persons, who represent 32 per cent of the people targeted for assistance in 2022, as well as the children of vulnerable families who make up 14 per cent. Importantly, the response also aims to meet the critical needs of 225,000 persons with disabilities.
The 2022 response will continue to focus on saving lives, ensuring access to basic services, and strengthening the protection of those affected by the conflict whose needs have been exacerbated by the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian operations will focus on delivering a series of sectoral responses aligned with three overarching Strategic Objectives:
Provide emergency and time-critical assistance and ensure access to basic essential services for 1.8 million people affected by the conflict (including 144,000 IDPs), exacerbated by COVID-19.
Respond to the protection needs and strengthen protection of 1.4 million conflict-affected people, including IDPs, with due regard to international norms and standards.
Ensure implementation of an international humanitarian exit strategy in GCA from 2021 to 2023.
The 2022 response will be guided by a differentiated approach, taking into consideration the particularities of the operational contexts in GCA and NGCA, particularly in terms of access, level of State ownership of the response, operational capacity and severity of humanitarian needs.
• In GCA, the approach of international humanitarian actors will remain humanitarian, including elements of early recovery, but not longer-term recovery. The severity of needs remains critical, particularly in the area close to the “contact line”, where people continue to experience the prevailing volatility of the security context and extensive contamination of mines/ERW, while being isolated from essential services and markets due to the lack of sufficient transportation and communication. In such areas, provision of emergency and time-critical assistance will be prioritized to save lives and to ensure people’s access to basic essential services. Meanwhile, humanitarian actors, where feasible and to the extent possible, will continue to collaborate with and support the Government, local authorities, and civil society to strengthen service delivery and humanitarian response, maintaining the commitment to gradually phase out international humanitarian assistance in GCA by the end of 2023. This goal recognizes the strong capacity that exists, particularly of the regional and local authorities and the past and current development opportunities. It will also build on the progress and achievements accomplished over the previous years through the humanitarian-development and peace nexus (HDPN) approach guiding the way humanitarian organizations operate2 and how they collaborate with Government authorities and development actors to seek longer-term solutions to alleviate the suffering of the conflict-weary people and to contribute to a peaceful future.3 The ongoing national decentralization reform process that is also taking place in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts, has provided and will continue to present an opportunity for operationalizing the HDPN approach, particularly looking towards capacity-building efforts for local communities, civil society organizations and local administration. Further efforts will build upon the lessons learned of the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF) allocation as a seed funding to pilot HDPN approaches in GCA (that began in late 2020 and continue throughout 2021).
• In NGCA, the fragile and volatile operational context continues to pose challenges to humanitarian operations, particularly in terms of access, operational capacity, and respect for the neutrality, impartiality and independence of humanitarian action. Efforts will be made to increase the reach of humanitarian response to address critical and unmet needs, while enhancing humanitarian advocacy to preserve and improve humanitarian space to allow for the continuation of the provision of essential and life-saving assistance, particularly in the programmatic areas where significant gaps remain. The advocacy and access negotiation efforts will build upon and be guided by the recent achievement of the Joint Operating Principles (JOPs) to ensure timely and principled delivery of aid, while the centrality of protection will be promoted and mainstreamed into other sectoral responses, to the extent possible, to allow for a more conducive operational environment.
Taking into consideration the recent third wave of COVID-19 cases, particularly in the two conflict-affected oblasts, vis-à-vis the high rates of vaccine hesitancy, it is recommended that all interventions, regardless of the sectors, will integrate the WHO-endorsed vaccine information and promotion messages, where feasible and to the extent possible, to support the campaigns to boost the vaccine uptake and address vaccine misinformation among the conflict-affected communities.
The humanitarian response will require $190 million to enable 119 humanitarian organizations to carry out prioritised humanitarian action in 2022. This is a realistic ask that reflects (i) the different levels of operational capacity that exist on either side of the “contact line”; (ii) the access situation; and (iii) zero duplication with the interventions that are being or will be undertaken by other actors, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Government, development actors and other actors that do not traditionally take part in the HRP.
Prioritised activities in the 2022 HRP have been identified with emphasis on quality humanitarian action that (i) saves lives, specifically addresses the urgent needs of the most vulnerable; (ii) targets the areas of the most severe humanitarian needs; and (iii) contributes to Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) priorities, including responding to feedback from affected people. Finally, it is important to note that there are fewer people targeted for assistance in NGCA than GCA despite the higher severity of humanitarian needs there because ongoing access constraints continue to limit operational capacity.
If humanitarian access improves, particularly to areas outside the Government’s control, the ability to respond and the related financial requirement will likely increase.