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Ukraine: 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan(HRP) [EN] - Year End Report


US$ 204 million requested
US$ 71 million received


2.4 million targeted
1.1 million reached


2017 witnessed worsening human toll of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which continues unabated. With a lack of complete adherence to renewed ceasefire agreements, nearly 14,000 security incidents-- an average of 38 incidents a day-- were recorded in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts, majority of which were concentrated in the area along the 457-kilometre ‘contact line’. Daily hostilities claimed almost 600 civilian lives and caused damage to houses and critical civilian infrastructures repeatedly. Civilians were caught between parties to the conflict facing abuses, risks from mines, unexploded ordnance and clashes, while less able to access assistance. The ‘contact line’, which is rapidly becoming one of the most mine contaminated lands in the world, long became a de facto border that not only severed socioeconomic connection and inter-dependence between the Government controlled areas (GCA) and NGCA, but also hampered access to essential basic services and goods. Today, one in four Ukrainians suffers from detrimental consequences of the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine. As resources are shrinking, millions of people, including 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), half of whom are the elderly, are being forced to make impossible choices between food, medicine, shelter, heating or their children’s education and rely on humanitarian assistance to survive.

Meanwhile, reported humanitarian funding to Ukraine was halved from US$246 million in 2016 to $127 million in 2017. The 2017 HRP faced a severe underfunding, with only US$71 million received (or 35 per cent of the $204 requirement) – a 32 per cent decrease from $105 million the 2016 HRP received. Humanitarians were forced to terminate several critical operations, while some were even forced to close down. Their decision to end their activities means bigger gaps to fill for those remaining, and ultimately, reduced assistance to the most vulnerable people in need.

Despite funding challenges, humanitarian community mounted a collective response and reached an estimated 1.1 million people with some form of humanitarian assistance at least once. This represents a 47 per cent achievement of 2.4 million people targeted. While the figure may appear somewhat positive, particularly against a very low funding, it has to be interpreted carefully. Overall, it shows a significant decline in the reach of the response by approximately 20 per cent, compared to that of 2016. This seems to directly correlate with the decrease in funding in 2017. In addition, the figure also counts people, who received any type of assistance at least once in a year. In other words, it is not a reflection of the depth and sustained continuation of assistance. Finally, the figure is a result of a carry-over effect of financial resources from 2016 to 2017 given the multiple donors’ different fiscal year cycles and multi-year funding mechanism that are not particularly in line with that of the HRP single year cycle.

A clear set of cash-specific indicators embedded in the 2017 HRP allows for a measurable achievement of cash-based assistance in 2017. Approximately 181,000 people received humanitarian assistance disbursed as cash or voucher. However, coverage of cash-based assistance was limited mainly in the GCA only provided that markets were found to continue functioning and where banking and postal services offered a safe and efficient delivery mechanisms.

Furthermore, a closer look at the geographical breakdown also reveals an uneven distribution of the number of people reached in the GCA and NGCA vis a vis the targets. Persistent insecurity along the ‘contact line’ and continuous hindrances for humanitarian actors to access people living in NGCA compelled humanitarian organizations to adopt a ‘pragmatic’ approach in programming, re-allocating resources to other beneficiaries in accessible areas that met similar vulnerability criteria. As such, some 850,000 of 1.1 million people reached were those in the GCA, including IDPs and those crossing from the NGCA to GCA to access assistance, while only around one-quarter of the targeted population in NGCA, where needs were identified, were reached.

The three Strategic Objectives (SOs) of the HRP 2017 were met at varying degrees individually, but at a lower rate of achievement collectively compared with 2016. Specifically, the target of SO1 - focusing on responding to protection needs of conflict-affected people- was achieved by 42 per cent, with an estimated 1 million receiving some type of protection-related assistance. However, the limited humanitarian access to the NGCA throughout 2017 meant that, out of 1.3 million people in the NGCA initially targeted, protection-related assistance reached only 15 per cent.

The SO2 focusing on delivering life-saving emergency assistance was achieved by only 28 per cent, primarily due to the regular hostilities, increasing emergency needs and constant demands for response vis a vis limited resources. Meanwhile, the SO3 focusing on improving the resilience and early recovery of conflict-affected people achieved only 4 per cent of the target. The low level of achievement against the SO3 called for enhanced commitments and actions for humanitarian and development actors to strengthen humanitarian-development nexus through a range of well-aligned short, medium and longer-term approaches in reducing risks and addressing pre-existing systemic weaknesses.

While the HRP did not reflect the full spectrum of humanitarian actions due to its strict prioritization, it served as a strategic tool that identified shared humanitarian priorities based on common analysis of the situation of needs. As such, the 2017 End-of-Year report captures and recognizes the valuable contribution of non-HRP partners who provided information and coordinated their activities, contributing to achieving common goals in alleviating the suffering of conflict-affected people.



Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
16 Mar 2018
Document type: 
Periodic Monitoring Report