According to a recent IOM survey, the biggest number — almost a third of all internally displaced persons in Ukraine (28 per cent) — have fled from Kharkiv Region. The humanitarian needs of those who chose to stay or were unable to flee are immense.
In May, Kharkiv received the first humanitarian convoy from IOM with much-needed items for people staying in the city’s shelters, hospitals, as well as hard-to-reach communities in areas that were regained by Ukrainian forces.
“Locals need solar lamps as there is no light, mattresses and blankets as it is damp and cold in shelters, tools for minor repairs for their damaged houses, hygiene kits... Only war-affected people can understand the value of this help,” explains Serhii Zhuk, the head of Source of Revival(CFSR), one of the biggest non-governmental organizations in this region and IOM’s implementing partner in Kharkiv Region.
In the first months of the war, the working day of Source of Revival’s (CFSR) team began at 6 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m., when a curfew was set and any movement around the city was forbidden. Because of the shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes, the location of the warehouses had to be changed several times. Not all drivers agreed to go to this dangerous area. The situation has since escalated, and the number of casualties continues to grow. But no one in the team has left Kharkiv. They put on bulletproof vests and protective helmets to deliver IOM’s assistance to those in dire need.
The hardest part of the team’s work is delivering aid to communities that survived the Russian occupation. Although it takes time to de-mine the area after deoccupation, NGOs endeavour to reach people in a critical state as quickly as possible.
“Some settlements were razed to the ground. There are many local Irpins and Buchas in our region, a Source of Revival staff says, referring to two cities in Kyiv oblast occupied by Russia at the start of the war where evidence points to significant human rights abuses being committed against the civilians. Exploitation, kidnapping for ransom, robbery, bullying, torture, rape, and sexual abuse of women, children, the elderly, and men. Some people are still missing.”
Humanitarian workers are supporting people on the ground and identifying victims of conflict-related violence. All of them can go to the IOM centre for physical and psychosocial rehabilitation.
The full version of the article by Alisa Kyrpychova IOM Ukraine can be found here -
United Nations News - https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/08/1125262