Luhansk region official: Employment is the best way for adaptation of internally displaced persons


Kyiv, November 3, 2015. Presently 232,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) registered in Luhansk and 595,000 in Donetsk regions, informed the Deputy Head of Luhansk Regional Military-Civilian Administration Olha Lishyk and Director of the Donetsk Regional Employment Center Valentyna Rybalko during a Skype-conference at Ukraine Crisis Media Center within Peaceful Life Spokesperson pilot project.

In Luhansk region 2,813 IDPs are in need of employment. According to Ms. Lishyk, not all the IDPs are unemployed because many institutions and organizations have moved out of the occupied territories since the beginning of the military actions. At the same time, all settlements in Luhansk region participate in the UN-Habitat program. Also, there is support of small businesses. “They include livestock farming, agricultural sector, and also small, “private” businesses: beekeeping, greenhouses, anything that helps a family to survive,” explained Ms. Lishyk and added: “today we ought to support our people, not only the IDPs but also local people, in starting their own businesses, in restoring the destroyed enterprises.”

Ms. Lishyk also said that they are developing a Master Plan to reconstruct the area. Currently, they are counting all the damages caused by the war in the east of Ukraine.

Among the problems that require urgent solutions, Ms. Lishyk mentioned finding jobs for the ATO soldiers, who used to reside in the temporarily occupied territories. “They defended our country but once their military service is over, they have no place to return to and work,” she said.

In September, the Regional program of reintegration, social adaptation and protection of internally displaced persons for 2015-2016 was adopted in Donetsk region. According to Ms. Rybalko, the right to work is an important element of IDPs’ adaptation. With this aim they conduct an information campaign to maximize people’s awareness. “We carry out surveys to determine the needs of employment and tell about possible help from the employment service. As a result, 12,000 IDPs have already found jobs,” she said. There are monthly regional counseling activities: Employment Center Day, Career Fair, Career Day and more. Some of them were conducted in the cities of compact residence. According to Ms. Rybalko, the events have covered more than 50,000 people, with 7,500 persons applied to the employment center. Over 1,200 of them are already employed.

She also emphasized the importance of business planning training. These trainings imply assistance in planning ideas, developing a business plan and a lump sum as a seed capital for starting a business.

Weekly events in the Under One Roof format started in July to ensure social partnership. According to Ms. Rybalko, such meetings provide an opportunity to unite various social partners (government agencies, volunteers, international organizations) and offer various services for IDPs. “The events are held every Wednesday in every city and district employment center,” she added.

The UNDP also works in the region to create new jobs. The program has selected 12 of the 75 companies that expressed a desire to hire IDPs. Currently, 169 jobs are starting.

Among the problems faced by IDPs while finding work, Ms. Rybalko mentioned not only general lack of vacancies but also employers’ unwillingness to hire a person for an indefinite period, because most IDPs plan to return to their homes as soon as possible, and their reluctance to change their profession or undergo a training. “People do not want to change. They have a profession and they are frozen in this state. Therefore, it is psychologically very difficult to retrain them and create a new job,” explained Ms. Lishyk.