Supported by its donors, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is expanding its cash assistance programmes to serve the needs of the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine.
In July, IOM launched the second round of multipurpose cash transfer support to IDPs in the Kharkiv Region thanks to an additional EUR 1 million provided by the European Union through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and EUR 400,000 in co-funding from the Government of Norway. Elderly people aged 75 and older, families with three or more children, single parents, and people with the 1st and 2nd groups of disability who are unfit for work, are going to receive unconditional cash assistance of UAH 1,000 per person this summer. The EU, Norway and IOM aim to support a total of 9,500 people with this assistance.
“We must target our assistance to those most in need, those who cannot support themselves,” stated Mamar Merzouk, Head of the ECHO office in Kyiv. “Cash grants are not only the quickest way to provide assistance. They preserve the dignity of the people since they can decide on their own how to best meet their most urgent needs.” From December 2014 until April 2015, the EU assisted over 23,000 vulnerable IDPs with one-time cash transfers through IOM. The Kharkiv Region was chosen for the project by the EU for its proximity to the conflict zone and the large number of IDPs registered there. According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, close to 180,000 displaced persons were staying in the region as of July.
With an additional EUR 1 million provided by Germany, IOM will be able to target another 6,500 vulnerable IDPs currently staying in nine regions of Ukraine: Vinnytsya, Poltava, Sumy, Odesa, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr. Within this project, people aged 75 and older, families with three and more children, and people with the 1st and 2nd groups of disability will also receive UAH 1,000 per person during the summer round of transfers. In total, these 9 regions account for over 130,000 IDPs as of July 2015.
In autumn, another round of cash support will be conducted in these 10 regions of Ukraine, targeting beneficiaries who received support in the summer and possible new arrivals. The amount of cash assistance for the second round in autumn will be established at a later point of time and taking into account several factors, including the level of inflation and market fluctuations. The initial lists of beneficiaries will be prepared by the state social services and verified by project teams.
“Displacement continues and IDPs are still facing harsh living conditions. It is important for us that IDPs will be able to independently determine priorities for spending the funds, be it buying school supplies for children, purchasing medicine, clothes or anything else essential for the each individual family,” says IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.