NGOs group calls on French decision makers to reinvest themselves in the Ukraine humanitarian crisis five years since the conflict broke out
On March 14th, nine French, Ukrainian and international agencies providing humanitarian assistance in eastern Ukraine bring together field testimonies and experts in a conference in Paris to ensure that French decision makers take informed action to improve the lives of people affected by this ongoing armed conflict at the doorstep of the European Union
April 2019 will mark the fifth anniversary since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. At the doorstep of the European Union, fighting continues to claim the lives of the population, and to damage civilian housing and infrastructure. Over 13,000 people have been killed (nearly 3,000 of which are civilians), 800,000 displaced and 3.5 million need humanitarian assistance. While communities along the frontline witness until today 40 fighting related incidents every day, ceasefire attempts are not upheld, negotiations fail and there is no political solution forthcoming. Although this is happening at the doorstep of the European Union, within France this conflict and the humanitarian challenges millions face as a result, remain underrepresented in media and unknown by most.
This is why a group of French, international and local NGOs providing humanitarian assistance in eastern Ukraine, brought together by the European Union-funded ACCESS Consortium (ACTED, Médicos del Mundo, People in Need, REACH, the Ukraine NGO Forum and Right to Protection), in cooperation with Première Urgence Internationale and Triangle Génération Humanitaire, organized this event in Paris. The goal is to ensure that decision makers are not only aware of the challenges in eastern Ukraine, but that they are informed enough to take decisive action. Through dialogue and discussion, the conference will aim at shedding light on the vulnerabilities of the conflict-affect population, exploring opportunities for longer term solutions and investments both in the private sector and large scale public investments, and to encourage discussion amongst the decision makers in the room.
Representatives of the European Commission and of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be among speakers, as well as field experts. Those will include representatives of the United Nations, of the local administration of the conflict-affected regions, and of service providers, as well as academics. NGOs accounts will contribute to provide a full picture of the humanitarian situation on the ground.
The conference takes place in Paris after NGOs organized two similar events were in Brussels and Berlin in 2017. France is a key actor this year for both the humanitarian situation and the reform process in Ukraine. Not only is France one of the four members of the negotiations format Normandy Four (together with Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Germany) aimed at finding a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, it is also the host of the 2019 G7, meaning France also plays a key role in ensuring that the group supports Ukraine and holds it accountable in its reform process. Under the lead of France, the G7 agenda for Ukraine includes several priorities related to the protection of conflict-affected people on both sides of the frontline.
France has a major role to play. This is why it is crucial that this conference contributes to ensuring that Ukraine remains high within the agenda of decision makers, and informs them on the complexities of the humanitarian situation and the development of the Donbas region.
Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
People in Need
Tel +38 (0)50 646 03 90 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACCESS Project is implemented by a group of five international and national organizations: People in Need (PIN), Médicos del Mundo (MDM), ACTED in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives, Right to Protection (R2P) and the Ukraine NGO Forum. Through sectoral and geographical synergies, the project responds to the emergency needs of populations residing in eastern Ukraine. Alongside water and food security assistance, shelter rehabilitations and winterization, the project provides health and psychosocial services, and advocates for people’s access to essential services. ACCESS will provide humanitarian assistance to 123,000 people and engage 199 organizations on both sides of the contact line in Ukraine, with funds from the European Commission through its Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
Première Urgence Internationale is a French NGO that has been working in Ukraine since February 2015. Its main objective is to answer the primary needs of the population affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Triangle Génération Humanitaire started its operations in Ukraine in March 2016. TGH has since implemented humanitarian assistance projects in the east of the country. Through assistance in the fields of food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, and protection, TGH has supported to date more than 70 000 people affected by conflict or living along the line of contact.
• Story map by ACCESS consortium, stories along the line of contact;
• Video series by ACCESS Consortium: This is Us, This is Ukraine;
• Explanatory video by People in Need on water issues in the Donbas.