The IOM project Multi-Sectoral Community-Driven Action to Mitigate the Exacerbating Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Main Drivers of Instability in Conflict-Affected Areas of Ukraine, funded by the Government of Japan, started in March 2021 and will last until March 2022. The project will mitigate the exacerbating impact of COVID-19 on main drivers of instability in eastern Ukraine by supporting multi-sectoral community-driven initiatives to increase the cohesion, self-sufficiency and resilience of conflict-affected communities. In particular, IOM will rehabilitate critical community infrastructure, identified on the principle of participatory decision-making. Tailored social protection assistance will be provided to victims of trafficking as well as to men, women, boys and girls at risk of trafficking and exploitation. Vocational boost grants will be available for the young people, owners of start-ups and existing businesses will also be able to benefit from a grant programme.

A 5-year project “Improving Living Conditions of Internally Displaced Persons in Eastern Ukraine”, launched by IOM in 2020, is funded by the Government of Germany through KfW Development Bank. It envisages creation of modern housing for about 1,500 – 2,000 beneficiaries in the towns of Kramatorsk (Donetsk Region) and Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk Region). Around 500-600 housing units will be constructed or rehabilitated while strictly respecting the Ukrainian construction/habitat legal framework and the EU standards for the sector. The housing units will not be free of charge for the beneficiaries, but will come at a bearable cost, in line with the local market. About 80 per cent of the new housing units will be made available to IDPs and 20 per cent – to the local residents.

Through a second phase of veterans’ reintegration programming, launched in January 2021, IOM Ukraine together with the EU’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace will continue responding to the needs of Ukrainian communities through targeted protection assistance and social cohesion initiatives. The project, developed in close partnership with the Ministry for Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, will facilitate community-based efforts toward sustainable reintegration of veterans, supporting their successful transition to civilian life through assistance to veterans, family members, and their communities. This project will run until May 2022 and builds upon the successful results of a previous EU-funded pilot initiative implemented by IOM between December 2018 and August 2020. This phase of the project will expand activities countrywide. Project activities will be informed by a nation-wide survey on the sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics of veterans and their families, and the challenges veterans face in readjusting to civilian life. In line with the survey, the project will provide tailored economic recovery assistance, qualified mental health and psychosocial support as well as social cohesion opportunities and capacity development for key service providers. 

In June 2020, IOM started implementation of the project “Winterization Support in Conflict-Affected Communities of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions (NGCA)” funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). During one year of implementation, the project will contribute to addressing the humanitarian needs and further strengthen the resilience of vulnerable conflict-affected populations in eastern Ukraine residing close to the contact line and in remote settlements with extremely high unemployment rates due to the precarious economic situation, through the provision of winterization support.

In April 2020, IOM started implementation of the project “Contribution for Humanitarian Activities included in IOM Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan Coronavirus Disease 2019” funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). During 8.5 months of implementation, the project will contribute to the Government of Ukraine’s efforts to effectively prepare and respond to COVID-19 disease in conflict-affected areas. It will do so through the provision of essential hygiene, mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) support, livelihood support, cash-based interventions and individualized assistance to the persons at risk of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse for vulnerable returnees, IDPs and other conflict-affected individuals in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In September 2019, IOM started the project “Essential Humanitarian Assistance and Early Recovery Support to Vulnerable Returnees, IDPs and other Conflict-Affected Communities in Eastern Ukraine” funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The project will contribute to addressing the crucial humanitarian needs and building resilience of vulnerable conflict-affected populations residing in eastern Ukraine through the provision of lifesaving winterization, essential hygiene, multipurpose and livelihood, as well as mental health and psychosocial support.