Competition for humanitarian aid in places of compact living of internally displaced causes “social disability” phenomenon – activists  


Kyiv, November 12, 2015. Representatives of civil society organizations dealing with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine held a monitoring at module towns for IPDs in Dniprodzerzhynsk, Dnipropetrvosk, Pavlohrad, Zaporizhzhia and Nikopol. One of the goals that the monitoring had was to find out whether the compact living places cause the “social disability” phenomenon when a person stops adjusting to new circumstances and is unable to make his/her living on his/her own. The research shows there are grounds to say that the factor that causes the phenomenon in question is competition for humanitarian aid that sometimes takes place in this sphere. “While the displaced were moving out of their home areas humanitarian aid was a condition helped some of them survive. However, since then people could have found a job and could have gotten themselves on their feet. It does not mean that humanitarian aid needs not be provided as many people really need it but the principles for its provision need to be revised. This problem can be resolved for example by providing targeted aid on a case-by-case basis or providing assistance for a long-term perspective,” said Olha Ivkina, contact center coordinator within the Resource Center at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to Ihor Moroz, analyst at the Resource Center providing help to IDPs, research results demonstrate that at the moment all module towns are only 68 percent full and majority of compact living place residents are in general satisfied with their living conditions. Currently 52 percent of respondents said the ratio between their salary / rental fee does not allow them to move out of these towns and rent an accommodation on their own. Ten percent also said that their houses are completely destroyed, 12 percent said they are afraid to return back home as the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) are based there. Meanwhile 20 percent do not want to return to the areas where combat actions are currently conducted. Sixty-seventy percent of people living in these towns said they had not experienced discrimination on the part of local residents or state agencies.

Big part of those residing in compact living places are socially vulnerable categories of population – pensioners, disabled and single parents with underaged children. Employment activity rate at the compact living places is less than a half of the overall number of residents, large part of them are women on maternity leave with small children. According to the research results, one part of the compact living place residents could not find a job in six or more months, another part is of the opinion that it is possible to quickly find a job if it is does not require high qualifications and if the salary amount is not a priority. Another group of people think that it may take two-three months to find a specialized job and a better salary. “Unsuccessful job search is often being justified by external factors, for example that employers tend to hire locals and prefer hiring young people not considering the IDPs. At the same time, over a half of interviewed claim to be ready to improve their qualifications and are ready to work with psychologists and social workers,” noted Olha Semenova, coordinator at the Center for Employment of Free People.

According to the monitoring results part of the people at the compact living places have serious difficulties with adaptation and need additional social and psychological aid. It needs to have a clear plan and needs to include general problems as well as problems that are unique to each family. “It is also important to make sure that the people residing at the compact living places are not closed in this space, that their communication is not limited to only talking to neighbors and going to work, it is important to engage them into public events in the city and other activities. State bodies need to take up responsibility to make it happen,” noted Tetyana Sirenko, expert of the Aid center “Right to Health”.