As a result of the Crimean crisis and the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine the humanitarian situation arising from this conflict has lately deteriorated dramatically.
There are alarming reports from conflict-affected areas that thousands of people are highly vulnerable and in need of assistance. Along with financial problems, many lack the ability to buy essential food and medicines and are living in frigid winter conditions.
The rise in numbers of refugees and internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the past month coincides with a recent deterioration of the situation worsening law and order, fear of abductions, human rights violations and the disruption of state services.
Winter is making life difficult
Most IDPs are currently accommodated by relatives or in temporary shelters: schools, recreation and cultural centres that are not suitable for habitation, especially in winter.
Local authorities are making efforts to winterize these premises, after it became clear that IDPs would not be able to return to their homes before winter.
Currently, they receive assistance from government sources, local authorities, local and international non-governmental organization, in particular – food, water, medical supplies and clothing, but this is not enough.
Host families are over-stretched
However, families and friends hosting refugees in Russia and Ukraine cannot be expected to keep providing the necessary assistance for a longer period. Resources are limited. The living standard of refugees/IDPs-receiving families and communities has dropped significantly.
Both in Ukraine and in Russia an economic crisis is developing. Production declines, jobs are cut, inflation is rising. In 2014 the local currency was devalued significantly.
ACT Alliance has issued an appeal for emergency assistance to refugees from Eastern Ukraine in Russia & Ukraine. The appeal target is US$ 332,766. ACT Alliance members Russian Orthodox Church and Hungarian Interchurch Aid are currently working to assist IDPs in seven regions of Ukraine.
Primarily large families with three or more children are receiving food, hygienic and baby packages.