Luhansk, Ukraine, March 24, 2017 – In the three years since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the quality of life for children and families in the region has sharply deteriorated. An estimated 3.8 million people, including 1 million children, are in need of humanitarian aid. Many families are struggling to meet their children’s basic needs due to rising cost of goods and unemployment. Additionally, there are reports of shortages in social and health care services, which have left thousands of children and their families without medical and psychological care.
“The departure of health workers from the conflict zone to other regions of Ukraine has led to a catastrophic medical care situation for children,” said Andriy Chuprikov, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Ukraine. “A diagnosis can take up to two months, during which time the health of the child is deteriorating and he or she may get the wrong medication.”
SOS Children’s Villages is playing a lead role in helping vulnerable children and families in Ukraine. As part of its emergency response program in eastern Ukraine, the organization provides:
- Food, hygiene items and clothing for families affected by the conflict, including those who are internally displaced;
- Health education, care and medication for at-risk families in the regions of Luhansk and Kiev;
- Psychological care and counseling for children and their parents or caregivers;
- Informal education and school supplies for children;
- Support aimed to help displaced families living in the Kiev region become self-sufficient;
- Capacity-building for social workers, teachers and other specialists that helps them identify trauma and assist at-risk children;
- A Mobile Playbus that provides recreational activities for children.
Through the program, SOS Children’s Villages has reached 600 children and their family members in the cities of Luhansk, Sievierodonetsk, and Starobilsk. The organization also assists more than 300 internally-displaced children and their family members living near the capital of Kiev.
“SOS Children’s Villages is the only organization working on both sides of the conflict—not only among international organizations but also among governmental agencies—that provides long-term, comprehensive support and ongoing needs assessments for families,” said Chuprikov.
To learn more or to speak to an SOS representative, contact Stephanie Rendon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.470.5182.