Lack of funding affects humanitarian support for the displaced people from Ukraine

Publié: 22 octobre 2015 13:36 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC

Last year, an increasing numbers of people started to arrive in Belarus fleeing conflict in Ukraine. This year plans to introduce a voucher distribution system ahead of the winter months to support 2,400 displaced families have been delayed due to limited funding. Vouchers  enable vulnerable families with little or no resources to tailor food and hygienic purchases according to their needs. These and other relief activities will be possible only with financial support from donors who fund the IFRC emergency appeal for the Belarus population movement. The appeal, launched last June and currently underfunded, calls for 750,000 Swiss francs to support 10,000 vulnerable people, including pensioners, people with disabilites, single headed families, and pregnant and nursing mothers.

Red Cross at the forefront of response

Earlier this year Anna Poberezhnaya, a single mother who gave birth to her son Mark in April 2014, turned to the Red Cross for help when she ran out of her own resources. “I received Red Cross assistance in the form of vouchers for food and clothes. I used the vouchers to feed and dress my son who is allergic and often sick. All the money I had went on medication,” said Anna.

Since the onset of the arrival of people from Ukraine last year the Belarus Red Cross has responded to the needs of the most vulnerable of these by providing cash transfers and by distributing household items such as blankets, bed linen, and kitchen sets. The Red Cross has also provided counselling and psychological support services, temporary accommodation, subsistence to travel and medication.

An estimated 150,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Belarus[1]. Almost one million people have left Ukraine since the beginning of the year, with Belarus and Russia receiving the largest number of arrivals since the onset of the population movement in the region.