Emergency assistance to Conflict-affected population in Eastern Ukraine

Project completed

In early 2014, a deep political crisis in Ukraine and the secretive Russian military interference resulted in a major armed conflict in the East of the country, which led to massive displacement of civilian population and heavy destruction of infrastructures and private properties. A ceasefire formally in place since 15 February 2015 has allowed the Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) to conduct three large humanitarian transports (health, water) benefitting the population in the Oblast of Donetsk (on both sides of the contact line) and the large city of Dnipropetrovsk.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Material relief assistance
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
25.02.2016 - 31.12.2016
CHF  205’790

The conflict in Ukraine enters its third year. The lack of a political solution means that insecurity, humanitarian and protection needs are likely to continue in 2016. As of November 2015, over 8,500 people have been killed and more than 17,900 injured, including civilians, military personnel and members of armed groups. Some 800,000 people live in unacceptable conditions along the contact line, with another 2.7 million people in non-Government-controlled area (NGCA) with little freedom of movement. These areas lack rule of law and guarantees for human rights protection. In addition, over a million people have now fled to neighbouring countries and another 800,000 within Ukraine itself.

The ceasefire has resulted in fewer casualties and some initial indications of IDP and refugee return. However, there has been an alarming increase in landmine and unexploded ordinance casualties along the contact line. According to the UN, needs remain so great that they necessitate a concerted effort of the international community through the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).


To contribute to a structured and efficient principle-based humanitarian response, inter alia by providing much needed material assistance to facilitate access to safe drinking water for the population in government controlled (GCA) and non-government controlled (NGCA) areas of Eastern Ukraine.

To contribute to a sustainable and robust water supply in the Oblast of Donetsk by increasing the decentralized chlorine production for water disinfection purpose and therefore strengthening the resilience of the water utilities in the region.

Target groups

The sustainable local production of chlorine solution will secure the water needs for 300’000 people.

Medium-term outcomes

  • Access to safe drinking water is maintained.
  • Dependency on foreign assistance is decreased by developing a local capacity of water chlorination which increases the overall resilience of Donbas water services.


Expected results:  

Vodadonbasa water supply will be more independent and flexible in terms of water disinfection.

Results from previous phases:  

The chemicals supplied for treating drinking water contributed to ensuring that more than 3 million people in the Donetsk region, on both sides of the contact line, had access to clean drinking water for several months. The first two shipments helped to avoid splitting the water utility between separate authorities for the GCA and NGCA and the negative consequences this would have had for water consumers.

Next to this action, medical equipment and medicines were delivered to five hospitals in Donetsk in June. Chemotherapy for several hundred cancer patients was maintained and in Dnipropetrovsk at least one hundred patients with kidney failure received regular kidney dialysis for three months.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
  • Schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk

Other partners

UN Agencies (above all OCHA), central Government line Agencies

Coordination with other projects and actors

OCHA coordinates disaster response operations in cooperation with authorities, I/NGOs and UN agencies.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    205’790 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    208’272 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   2’939’563 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   4’000’000
Project phases Phase 5 12.04.2017 - 30.11.2017   (Completed) Phase 4 11.04.2016 - 30.11.2016   (Completed)

Phase 3 25.02.2016 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.04.2015 - 31.03.2016   (Completed)