Ukraine: 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan(HRP) - End Year Report [EN]
Ukraine: 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan(HRP) - End Year Report [EN]
US$ 187 million requested
2.3 million targeted
Overview of key developments in 2018
During 2018 a number of key developments impacted humanitarian operations. First, there was a shift in approach – from a security to a military-oriented one. The law on ‘Reintegration of Sovereignty’ (February 2018) came into force and the Joint Forces Operation (April 2018), was introduced, replacing the former Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in eastern Ukraine. This shift created some uncertainy among the humanitarian community, but analysis of operational modalities has not revealed major negative implications of this new legal framework on the humanitarian operations, although the humanitarian community continues to monitor the situation as various related by-laws are still under development (particularly the so-called ‘Anti-Terroristic Operation’ (ATO) related provisions anticipated in 2019). Second, there was an improvement of humanitarian access, for UN agencies to operate in NGCA which triggered a Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocation of $5.9 million to enable a rapid scale-up of humanitarian response to meet urgent, unmet needs; however, the extent and quality of access for the humanitarian community remains far from adequate in light of the critical needs in NGCA. Thirdly, increased tensions in the Sea of Azov (November 2018) were followed by a 30-day imposition of martial law in 10 oblasts, including Donetska and Luhanska. This led to several restrictions, including freedom of movement for both civilians and humanitarians in areas close to the ‘contact line’. The martial law expired on 26 December, however the security situation continued to remain volatile. Lastly, and on a positive note, the Government of Ukraine adopted several new legal frameworks that laid the foundation for increased support to the confl ict-aff ected people. The major laws were on ‘legal status of missing persons’ (August 2018), the Action Plan of the earlier-adopted “Strategy for the Integration of Internally Displaced Persons” (November 2018), and the first mine action law (December 2018).
The armed conflict remained active
The first quarter of 2018 saw a relatively low number of security incidents, compared with the same period in 2017, partially due to the then in-eff ect traditional ceasefi re agreement covering the holiday seasons. However, insecurity sharply picked up from mid-April and peaked in May, with nearly 1,300 incidents recorded in one single month. Th e armed confl ict became more volatile from July onwards, with the number of security incidents exceeding that of the same period in 2017. Five ceasefire recommitments came into eff ect in 2018. Despite their short-lived enforcement, they nevertheless contributed to an almost halving of civilian casualties in 2018, with a total of 279 casualties (55 deaths and 224 injuries) recorded by OHCHR, compared with 604 in 2017. The decrease of civilian casualties was also observed, following each round of the ceasefi re recommitments. However, shelling and small arms and light weapons (SALW) fi re remained the main cause of civilian casualties, followed by landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW), at 56 and 41 per cent, respectively. There was also a noticeable correlation between the number of security incidents and the number of civilian casualties in the respective months – the higher security incidents, the higher civilian casualties. Th is revealed that the lower-than-2017 monthly average security incidents in 2018 did not necessarily mean a less insecure environment for millions of people living in the conflict zone.
A record high of crossings across the ‘contact line’ in 2018
An average of 1.1 million civilian crossings through the five operating Exit-Entry Checkpoints (EECPs) were recorded every month in 2018. Th is represented not only a 15 per cent increase from last year, but also the highest record since the EECPs were established in 2015. Over the past three years, it was observed that the checkpoint crossings generally peaked in August – ahead of the traditional beginning of the school year in September. The three main reasons people chose to cross the contact line were (i) to avoid the suspension of social benefi ts and to receive pension payments, (ii) to resolve issues related to birth, death and other civil documentation and, (iii) to visit relatives. Another reason raised by IDPs were visting and maintaining housing. Meanwhile, considerable efforts were made by the Government of Ukraine to improve crossing conditions, with an investment totalling UAH 150 million (equivalent to USD 5.6 million) to support the reconstruction of basic facilities at the checkpoints in Government Controlled Areas (GCAs).
Humanitarian funding to Ukraine remained relatively stable between 2017 and 2018. Despite diff erent contributions ($147 million in 2017 to $141 million 2018) the last two Humanitarian
Response Plans (HRP) were funded at slightly under 40 per cent. The proportional distribution of the humanitarian funding during 2017 and 2018 also remained similar, with over half of the funding (51 per cent) channelled through the HRP to support the projects and the remaining 49 per cent to projects outside the HRP. The high percentage of funding to organizations outside the HRP is attributed primarily to the important role played by organizations that are not part of the HRP (ICRC) and also to the fact that much of this funding is going to efforts which are not considered priority by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). WASH remained the most underfunded sector consistently over the last two years, with only around 10 per cent of its funding requirement met, followed by the Food Security and Livelihoods and Shelter/NFI sectors at around 20 per cent. However, WASH and Education Clusters received the lowest funding envelopes.
Overview of the 2018 response
Despite funding challenges, the humanitarian community mounted a collective response and reached an estimated 1.3 million people with humanitarian assistance in 2018 – of which 1.1 million were reached through HRP projects. Th is suggests that the HRP reached 49 per cent of the targeted 2.3 million people. Th is is a cumulative figure, and counts the number of people who received any single type of assistance. Limitations inherent in the methodologies used for monitoring the response4 (and without a common beneficiary registration system) it is impossible to come to an accurate number while deploying multiple forms of assistance. It is also not a reflection of a sustained continuation of assistance, which may be needed, particularly in increasingly protracted situations like the one in Ukraine.