Drinking Water for the People of Eastern Ukraine

Project completed
A lorry in front of a local branch of Voda Donbas water company in Krasnoarmiysk. People are standing around the vehicle.
Humanitarian convoys from Switzerland bring relief supplies to more than three million people on both sides of the contact line in Ukraine. © FDFA/SDC © EDA

The ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine continues to claim victims and cause untold damage. Vital goods like water are in increasingly short supply.The SDC is the only state actor organising humanitarian convoys which cross the contact line in eastern Ukraine.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Material relief assistance
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Primary health care
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Water diplomacy and security
Health systems strengthening
11.04.2016 - 30.11.2016
CHF  1’156’000

Voda Dombass, a water company operating in the Donetsk region, was no longer able to distribute drinking water to communities living on either side of the line of contact. The conflict had prevented shipments of water purification chemicals reaching the factory. The number of Hepatitis A infections in the region rose considerably due to the consumption of unsafe water.

Humanitarian Convoys from Switzerland

Following a request for aid, in 2015 Switzerland dispatched three humanitarian convoys carrying the necessary water treatment products. Lorries carrying several tonnes of chemicals successfully crossed the line of contact unhindered. The shipments also contained medical supplies and medication destined for hospitals across the region.

Switzerland became the first and only third state to deliver aid on this scale to communities living on either side of the line of contact. Over three million people benefited from Swiss aid and there was a considerable fall in the number of illnesses caused by the consumption of unsafe water. Another benefit was that these operations bolstered the position of Voda Dombass as a public service provider.