The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is getting worse by the day. The number of people in need is increasing as the possibilities to earn a living decrease and countrywide power cuts grow longer. The future is bleak in times when so many in Ukraine have only humanitarian assistance to rely on. The attacks on the energy infrastructure with the onset of winter are creating inhuman conditions in large swathes of the country, putting masses of already destitute people in an even more difficult situation.
Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) has already helped in 18 regions of Ukraine since the war broke out 8 months ago. To alleviate the ever-increasing hardships of the population in these desperate times, the organisation has expanded its cash assistance program to the Kyiv region. This modality of humanitarian aid is one of the most effective, personalised and dignified forms of helping the needy. The project is funded by DanChurchAid and Danida.
In focus: large families, single parents, elderly and the sick
Beneficiaries receive monthly cash support through HIA’s Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) program, which allows them to choose how they will spend the grant money. Cash for Protection is a support mechanism whereby beneficiaries are assisted in achieving pre-defined goals (e.g. surgery, purchase of medicines, providing a safe environment for children).
To ensure that the aid reaches people who need it the most, HIA identifies potential beneficiaries of cash assistance according to pre-defined criteria. MPCA primarily targets internally displaced people (IDPs) who have had their homes destroyed or had been forced to leave them.. Apart from IDPs, the program is also available to people whose close relatives have become victims of war or whose homes have been damaged due to fighting.
Cash for Protection is a different modality, through which the most vulnerable IDPs receive a pre-agreed cash grant. The mechanism aims to support households with several children, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, disabled people, the elderly over 60 years and single parents.
Whom help reaches
“I was born into one war and grew old in another.” Halina’s home was damaged by fighting in the town of Mokrets. Since the outbreak of the war, the elderly lady has not heard from her granddaughter, who used to visit her regularly. Her only wish is to live to see the end of the war and to see future generations playing under a peaceful sky.
“She was born into war,” says the father with his child on his lap. The young parents had fled from Kherson to the Kyiv region. Although the town in southern Ukraine has now been liberated, returning with a small child is out of question, as there is no water, electricity or heating in the city. The young couple must now survive in the town of Mokrets and provide their child with a safe home and environment in the face of dwindling income opportunities.
“Thank God we are healthy.” The father works hard every day, but the two parents’ earnings still do not cover the family’s monthly expenses. One of the consequences of the war has been dwindling job opportunities and the decrease of salaries, thus the family of several children has had particular difficulty with repairing their home damaged by the fighting. With the onset of winter, the parents now have to ensure that their children have warmth and light even when power is cut off due to Russian attacks on the energy infrastructure.
“Work? There’s barely any.” The father, who used to be an entrepreneur, shows photographs of the damaged family home, sustained by a nearby explosion not far from Kalynivka. Like countless others, he struggles to provide for his two young daughters and wife amid the worsening humanitarian situation. For now, he can only rely on humanitarian aid and financial support.