Handicap International has worked in Ukraine since August 2015. Teams provide support to vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, who find it difficult to access care as a result of the conflict. We work at local and national level to build the capacities of health services and to make humanitarian actors aware of the need to include vulnerable groups in emergency response. Handicap International employs 24 people in Ukraine.
The conflict between government forces and independence movements since 2014 in Ukraine has resulted in chronic insecurity in several of the country’s regions. The conflict was triggered by mass demonstrations in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities in late 2013, leading to the fall of President Yanukovych in February 2014.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an estimated 10,000 people have already been killed and 30,000 injured in the conflict between government forces and independence movements in the Donbass regions. More than 1.6 million people have been internally displaced, according to the Ministry of Social Policy. Despite several ceasefires, the situation remains tense along the frontline and armed clashes are a daily occurrence. The area is heavily mined.
Handicap International provides at-home rehabilitation care to limit the onset of complications from injuries or the functional limitations of older people or people with reduced mobility who have a difficult time accessing care services as a result of the conflict. We also build the capacities of health facilities and care staff and supplies rehabilitation equipment and mobility aids.
The organization works with other agencies to make sure that people with disabilities–or other vulnerable populations–have full access to emergency health services. Between October 2015 and February 2016, with the support of UNICEF, we provided risk education on mines and explosive remnants of war to children and teenagers living along the contact line between government forces and independence movements.