Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine aligns itself with the statement presented by the European Union. Our delegation would like to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

The delegation of Ukraine thanks the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for organizing this fully virtual ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment.

In recent years, we have witnessed a rapid increase in humanitarian needs in the world, which was mainly caused by armed conflicts and climate changes. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in 2020, nearly 167 million people in 55 countries around the world need humanitarian assistance and rely on the Organization’s life-saving aid to survive.

And now we are faced with an unprecedented challenge for the global humanitarian situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by worsening economic crisis, reduced social protection, food insecurity, and other factors. In this challenging time the UN’s timely and comprehensive response to global humanitarian needs has become more relevant than ever. In addition to the current funding requirements for a total of $28 billion, another $6 billion are needed for this calendar year to respond to the pandemic. In this light, Ukraine fully supports the prioritization of UN agencies’ current programming with the focus on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including medical supplies procurements, infection prevention, and control and hygiene promotion campaigns.

Ukraine welcomes the UN Secretary General’s leadership in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the UN activities aimed at coordinating all agencies of the UN system in countering this pandemic must be one of the most critical and core priorities of the United Nations. We commend the comprehensive and integrated approach taken by the UN agencies on the ground in providing assistance to countries to better contend with the pandemic, including rapid response.

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine places humanitarian issues high on its agenda. More than six years of armed conflict caused by the ongoing Russian aggression have resulted in a protracted and complex humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine. According to the United Nations, around 3.5 million vulnerable Ukrainians affected by Russian intervention are estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection during next year. About 1,5 million Ukrainians have been registered as internally displaced persons, amounting to 3,5 percent of Ukraine`s overall population. This includes many children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

On many occasions, the UN has noted a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the conflict zone. Civilians continue to face serious risks to their safety, wellbeing, and basic rights due to the active and ongoing hostilities, as well as the saturation of landminesand other explosive ordinances. This area, according to the UN, has already become one of the most mine-contaminated stretches of land in the world.

There is also a whole range of threats that can lead to further deterioration of the protracted humanitarian crisis in this region, in particular critical civilian infrastructure. Continuation of the Russian aggression can also lead to an ecological and humanitarian disaster. That is why cessation of hostilities remains essential in enabling effective humanitarian response, protecting civilians and humanitarian personnel.

The Government of Ukraine remains persistent in its efforts to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian citizens affected by the Russian aggression, particularly internally displaced persons. Currently, Ukraine focuses on improving their social integration and adaptation, as well as explores the best practices of integration of IDPs into the host communities.

In this context, the Government of Ukraine is currently implementing the State Program of Recovery and Peacebuilding in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine, which aims at promoting social and economic development of the concerned communities, as well as strengthening their resilience.

We have developed a modern, innovative online platform of economic and social recovery for operational monitoring of projects aimed at the restoration of infrastructure and the development and support of communities and their projects in the government-controlled areas. It allows the authorities to respond promptly to the challenges facing people in the east of our country and facilitate the delivery of assistance from international humanitarian organizations.

In order to address the problem of internal displacement of Ukrainian citizens and its consequences, create effective tools of public administration, meet urgent and ongoing needs, the Government of Ukraine approved the Strategy for Integration of Internally Displaced Persons and implementation of long-term internal displacement solutions until 2020.

Given that most of the tasks and measures envisaged by this plan have not lost their relevance, the Government is considering extending this Strategy with appropriate updating and taking into account new challenges in establishing guarantees for the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of internally displaced persons.

Social protection of the affected population includes:

- all-out integration of IDPs into public life,

- provision of housing for IDPs through local state subsidies. In this context, I wish to mention a joint project "Housing for IDPs" under the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which is currently is in progress.

- simplification of the procedure for establishing guardianship over children who have returned from the temporarily occupied territories, creation of the Register of Missing Persons, and other much-needed measures.

The Government of Ukraine is actively applying modern technologies for digital transformation. This includes ensuring maximum access for residents of the temporarily occupied territories to administrative, social, educational services through the online project system "E-resident", as well as creation of an electronic cabinet and a mobile application for IDPs with a feature of generating an electronic IDP certificate, information on social benefits and other services.

In order to create conditions for access of humanitarian cargoes to the temporarily occupied territories during quarantine measures, Ukraine has established a procedure for international humanitarian organizations to move their humanitarian cargoes to the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The Government of Ukraine has also defined a mechanism for international humanitarian organizations to simplify the procedure for crossing the demarcation line.

In order to better respond to the needs of IDPs and protect their rights, the national authorities are also benefiting from expert and analytical support from non-governmental organizations.

The Government of Ukraine coordinates demining programs and implements projects of humanitarian demining, informing the public in the affected territories about demining activities, rules of conduct in situations involving explosive objects, and providing other assistance.

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine, together with humanitarian partners, continuesto implement humanitarian action, including the Humanitarian Response Plans prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In order to mitigate consequences of the Russian military aggression, over the last six years UN agencies have mobilized more than US$0.5 billion for humanitarian response across different sectors, such as food, shelter and household items, winterization support, access to clean water, education and adequate healthcare.

Ukraine is grateful for the assistance provided to millions of people in need by the UN system, including High Commissioner for Refugees, WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, other agencies and bilateral partners, especially the European Union, United States, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Estonia, and other counties, as well as International Committee of the Red Cross and other international non-governmental organizations.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020 aims at providing critical humanitarian assistance and protection to 2.1 million people in need in eastern Ukraine. It is implemented by many UN, national and international organizations which deliver aid to civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine welcomes the ongoing efforts towards strengthening Humanitarian-Development Nexus, which seeks to not only meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, but also to systematically reduce these needs.

We believe that eastern Ukraine is exactly where this approach has to be applied. Synergies between humanitarian and development actors increase the efficiency of their activities in areas affected by conflict.

Mr. Chair,

In light of the above, existing global humanitarian emergencies provoked by armed conflict, natural disasters, and other causes should remain the focus of the attention of humanitarian community. It is essential that the UN continues its life-saving work in the affected countries and sustains the humanitarian response across the world.

In conclusion, we would like to underscore that only a united global response to a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the world will allow us to buffer health and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the most vulnerable. This will demonstrate unity and solidarity of the international community, and will become the best manifestation of the effectiveness of the United Nations, the seventy-fifth anniversary of which we will mark in just a few months.

Thank you.