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Shattered Lives, Unbroken Spirits

Kyiv — This year the conflict in eastern Ukraine, largely forgotten by the international media, will mark its fifth anniversary. IOM and other humanitarian agencies working in the country estimate that 3.5 million people in Ukraine still need assistance. The number has risen slightly in the past year, due to the impact of landmines and the mental and psychological scars of the drawn-out conflict.

An Iconic Moment

February 2015. In the midst of the cruel Ukrainian winter a family sits in a car in the southern city of Mariupol, shaking with fear and relief. Ten kilometres away, their home is smoke, dust and rubble. 

July 2018. “Our village was heavily shelled”, recalls Natalia. “We were hiding in our basement, when our house was destroyed. We had only two and a half minutes to escape while they were reloading. Thank God our car was not damaged. We drove, and shells were falling behind us”.  

Ukraine Crisis Response Plan

Nearly four years of ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine has had a significant impact on all aspects of life for pensioniers like Maria and all communities in the Donbas region. The protracted nature of the crisis has paralyzed economic activity and severely reduced household coping capacities on both sides of the 457 km contact line. IOM is seeking US$37.8 million for its emergency and recovery programmes to the end of 2108.