Ukraine: Aid for war-torn communities in Lugansk and Donetsk stepped up as winter looms

07 October 2015

Kiev/Lugansk (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is scaling up its activities in Ukraine, in particular in the opposition-held territory of Lugansk Region, after having suspended them for more than a month.

Today over 2,000 people in the towns of Perevalsk, Smeloe, Krasny Yar and Vergunskiy Razezd received food and personal hygiene items. At the same time, residents and displaced people whose homes have been damaged in the conflict in Pervomaysk, Sverdlovsk and Chervoniy Prapor received over 72 tonnes of cement, bricks, timber, rubberoid and roofing sheets to repair them in time for winter.

Earlier this week, 35 tonnes of roofing and building materials were also delivered to the residents of Pervomaysk and the town's local hospital. At the same time around 1,000 families in Zolotoe and Stary Aidar, two nearby villages under government control, received food and personal hygiene items.

"Humanitarian aid is especially important as winter approaches. Vulnerable people on both sides of the front line need not only food and hygiene items, but also building materials. Their houses have often been damaged by shelling, and they don't have roofs or heating to protect themselves from the cold," said Daniel Bunnskog, the head of the ICRC's Lugansk office.

Meanwhile over the past two days in the Donetsk Region, an ICRC team distributed food and hygiene items, as well as tarpaulins and jerrycans, to more than 2,000 residents of Zaitzevo, a remote village cut in two by the front line. Active hostilities ceased there only a week ago, so it is the first time since the beginning of the conflict that Zaitzevo residents have received assistance directly from a humanitarian organization.

"For our people here, this is a very special day. It is the first time since the beginning of the war that someone has brought us all these much-needed things. That is why we are celebrating today," said Valentin, an elderly resident of Zaitzevo.

Since restarting its activities less than 10 days ago, the ICRC office in Donetsk has distributed more than 50 tonnes of food, 4,000 personal hygiene items and 80 tonnes of building materials.

For further information, please contact:

Ashot Astabatsyan, ICRC Kiev, tel: +380 67 509 42 06
Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Donetsk, tel: +38 050 315 04 60