At the end of January 2012, an extremely cold weather hit Ukraine. In some areas the temperature reached minus 30 C. At least 112 people died, most of them homeless who froze to death in the streets, or old people who died in their homes. Around 2,500 people were hospitalized with frostbite and hypothermia. In February-March 2012, supported by the Federation`s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) conducted an operation in six regions of Ukraine providing assistance to some 4,838 people identified as the most exposed to the extreme temperatures and weather: homeless, people living below the poverty level, unemployed, single mothers and elderly people.
During the reporting period the Ukrainian Red Cross (URCS) continued further the development of its Visiting Nurses Service (VNS) with contribution from the British Government/DFID. In particular, the infrastructure and the quality assurance component of the VNS were strengthened through supplying first aid kits for the visiting nurses.
In 2012 the Ukrainian RC, together with the Belarus RC and the Russian RC, continued the implementation of the long-term Chernobyl Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation Programme (CHARP) providing medical and psychosocial assistance to 57,525 people. Unfortunately the funding of the CHARP project was stopped in May 2012 after 26 years because IFRC European Zone office could not identify new donors for the financial support of the project. Along with that programme, the URCS has continued the implementation of the two year long migration related joint IFRC / IOM project aiming to work with victims of human trafficking in Belarus, Ukraine (Chernigov and Lugansk regional organisations) and Moldova funded by the European Commission. Besides that, the Ukrainian RC carried on with bilateral activities of HIV prevention, care and support to people living with HIV (PLWH) funded by the American, French and Italian Red Cross Societies. Together with other partners, the URCS as sub-recipient was implementing the anti-TB programme funded by the Global Funds to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, designed for five years and expanding the programme for 14 regional organisations.