7 представників АСУ та UN OCHA в полі на фоні дерев під час моніторингового візиту

UDA and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs cooperation – OCHA

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – OCHA is one of the oldest partner of the Ukrainian Deminers Association (UDA). Our cooperation began in the fall of 2021 with the humanitarian demining project in Ukraine. Originally project supposed to focus on a non-technical survey (NTS) of the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. By February 24, 2022, our organization managed to submit 11 NTS reports of both regions to the NMAA, and the total area of the inspected territories reached 3,505,764 m2. At the same time, 357 mine victims received consultancy related to protecting of their rights and interests.

However, after the large-scale war of the russian federation against Ukraine, UDA took the initiative to reorient the current humanitarian demining projects to humanitarian aid and mine victim assistance (MVA). It was a forced step, because our activity had to correspond to the realities and challenges of that time. The territories planed for humanitarian demining were partially occupied, many deminers were mobilized, therefore, it was necessary to recruit new people, train and equip them. Also the priorities of the state in humanitarian demining and NTS have fundamentally changed. With this in mind, a decision was made to reorient the projects.

UDA humanitarian aid in 2022

From the very beginning of the invasion, our partner MA operator Demining Solutions provided all available vehicles and equipment to help people with evacuation. Together we created two humanitarian routes Chernivtsi – Kyiv and Poltava – Kharkiv, which delivered humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable population in Kyiv (Kyiv region) and Kharkiv, and evacuated people to Chernivtsi region and Poltava. We also worked together with our implementing partners – the NGO for people with disabilities “AirLight” and the charity foundation “Blagochestya”. Together, during a month of work (until March 24, 2022), we managed to provide individual humanitarian aid to 1,976 war victims.

дівчина волонтер стоїть у кабінеті, а перед нею на столі засоби індивідуальної гігієни для видачі постраждалим від війни
дві жінки на вулиці, які отримали допомогу, перед ними близько 10 упаковок підгузників на медичних каталках
групове фото: 8 волонтерів та людей, які отримують допомогу тримають прапор України на фоні машини та коробок з допомогою
представник АСУ роздає людям допомогу з спринтеру. Люди вишикувались у чергу з боку фургону та роздивляються коробки з допомогою

Individual in-kind and cash support primarily included: food, medication, hygiene products, money transfers, as well as logistical support for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Together with our colleagues, we actively worked on the expansion of the territories that receive help (the main region at that time was Chernihiv oblast) and the ability to perform tasks with help of a new volunteer network. As part of this activity, we created a strong and reliable system of Individual in-kind support in Sumy, Chernigiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia and Kyiv oblasts.

мінівен заповнений допомогою: коробками з їжею, засобами особистої гігієни, карематами, упаковками олії, консервацією, тощо. За підтримки OCHA
За підтримки OCHA: волонтер розвантажує коробки та упаковки гуманітарної допомоги на асфальт біля мінівену.

The next joint project with the support of the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UN OCHA) was launched in April 2022 under the name “Urgent humanitarian response from UDA”. This is a short-term project that was taking place until the end of June 2022. It was focused not only on providing humanitarian aid, but also on conducting trainings for trainers (TOT) by UDA instructors and educational sessions for the population concerning safe behavior during war. The sessions were conducted very actively for two months and included three main aspects: Explosive Ordnance Risks Education (EORE), algorithm of actions during shelling and basics of emergency first aid.

Results of work on two projects in 2021-2022

Under both projects, our instructors conducted more than 40 trainings for trainers (TOT). During the year, we managed to train 564 EORE trainers, who successfully passed the EORE exam and received certificates. After that they were provided with all the necessary informational, visual and handout materials for conducting EORE sessions.

During 2022, only under two projects with UN OCHA, our instructors conducted 265 live EORE sessions for the civilian population in Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Lviv, Sumy, Ternopil, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, and reached 8,788 beneficiaries. Among the beneficiaries, a significant part was IDPs and employees of energy enterprises of the Western regions of Ukraine.

тренер АСУ проводить EORE сесію, стоячи біля дошки з презентацією в залі, де сидять люди та стоїть оператор з камерою
тренер АСУ проводить сесію з безпеки, стоячи біля дошки з презентацією в класі, де сидять люди

During the whole year, UDA together with its partners provided individual in-kind and cash support (UAH 5,800 per person) to 8,000 people from the communities most affected by the conflict. In addition, assistance was provided to victims under the age of 18 through their parents. 217 mine victims received vouchers for trainings on psychosocial support; 40 war victims were evacuated (31 people to Chernivtsi region and 9 people to Poltava). Another 158 mine victims received vouchers for livelihoods help: seeds, feed and animals, and 200 mine victims received vouchers for food kits.

декілька дітей та дорослих роздивляються коробки з допомогою біля мінівену, з якого їх вигрузили. За підтримки OCHA
волонтер АСУ видає грошову допомогу в лікарні постраждалим від вибухонебезпечних предметів

In addition, NGO “AirLight” delivered 4 humanitarian aids with a total weight of about 80 tons (food, clothes, blankets, medical and hygiene items, baby diapers, etc.). All humanitarian aid was delivered to Kharkiv and Kharkiv oblast from western Ukraine. All humanitarian aid was disseminated for around 20 000 conflict-affected people of Kharkiv oblast. Also, our organization launched a hotline “UDA Helps”, which helped us quickly respond to people’s needs. During the first 2 months of her work, our humanitarian coordinators received more than 1,000 different calls of help.

During 2022, we received a lot of feedback from affected people who received help. All feedback was very grateful and warm. We are pleased to receive appreciation from people who are grateful for the help they received. The UDA and “AirLight” volunteers received a letter of thanks from the mine victims of Okhtyrka, Sumy region for their work from May to July 2022. Total of 73 mine victims received assistance in the Sumy region.

лист подяки з підписами
чотири жінки перед під'їздом дому, а на лавці біля них 4 великих пакети гуманітарної допомоги
5 бабусь перед будівлею, 2 сидять, 3 стоять, а перед ними на сходах 5 пакетів гуманітарної допомоги, за підтримки OCHA

See more photos and humanitarian aid reports on our official Facebook page.

Moreover, HMA Consortium was the first who started the process of humanitarian demining (NTS) in the de-occupied territories of the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. We have worked in constant close collaboration with NMAA and MAC Chernihiv (temporary worked in Kyiv). Since 3 May 2022 around 50 NTS Reports in Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts were submitted to NMAA. The total area covered 25,276,524 m2.

In October 2022, a significant event took place for us and for mine action in general. For the first time since the beginning of the full-scale war, we released land cleared of explosive objects to the owner – the Makariv community of Bucha district, Kyiv region.

We released an agricultural field with an area of 219,329 m2. The transfer of the land took place after external control by the inspection body and signing of relevant acts. Demining Solutions was the national mine action operator who cleared the land.

представник адміністрації Макарівської адміністрації тисне руку голові правління АСУ, а в іншій руці тримає документи з передачі землі

Collaborative work with UN OCHA in 2023

In January and February 2023, 2 more projects were launched. The main areas of work between UDA and UN OCHA last year were: Explosive Ordnance Risks Education (EORE); Mine Victim Assistance (MVA); non-technical survey (NTS) of territories; training of deminers and capacity building of small non-profit organizations.

1. Explosive Ordnance Risks Education (EORE)

Last year, certified UDA trainers conducted EORE sessions in the following regions: Volyn, Zaporizhia, Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Chernihiv. According to the results of two 2023 projects with UN OCHA, we managed to reach about 16,000 beneficiaries in live sessions, including children. More than half of these people are IDPs, as well as workers of critical infrastructure, as they are in a risk zone: they are most likely to have contact with explosive remnants of war and often work under shelling.

групове фото: 14 тренерів АСУ після пройденого тренінгу з сертифікатами в руках, за проєктом OCHA
групове фото: всі учасники та тренери після EORE сесії у класі Регіональної філії Одеської залізниці у Миколаєві

According to the UN, there are currently more than 4,800,000 IDPs in Ukraine, of which children are more than 1 million. UNCERTAINTY is the main symptom of anxiety among war refugees. IDPs don’t know whether it will be safe for them to return to their native homes, what awaits them on the usual paths during walks, on recreation in forests, park zones, on the river shores, etc.

Being aware of the dangers posed by explosive ordnance to people, during training sessions instructors warn, urge and require trainees to avoid visiting forests, fields, meadows, river banks, lakes and seas, cemeteries and roadsides, unless allowed by state or local authorities.

During one of the projects, 8 EORE instructors were trained at TOT, and will conduct sessions until March of this year.

інтерактивні заняття щодо попередження ризиків від вибухонебезпечних предметів та майстер-клас з надання першої домедичної допомоги для сімей ВПО, у спортзалі гімназії м. Хмельницький
шкільний спортзал: дитина тренується на манекені робити непрямий масаж серця, а тренер її контролює
шкільний клас: дитина лежить на боку карематі, а тренер показує на ній основи домедичної допомоги, за проєктом OCHA

2. Mine Victim Assistance (MVA)

According to the results of one project with UN OCHA, during 2023, our organization provided cash support to about 100 people in the amount of $500 per person, in hryvnia equivalent. Assistance was provided in Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, and Chernihiv regions.

On March 10, 2023, UDA took part in a round table meeting regarding MVA in Ukraine. Together with representatives of international and local public organizations, authorities and UN units, we tried to make such assistance more effective.

4 учасники круглого столу щодо допомоги постраждалим від вибухонебезпечних предметів обговорюють питання сидячи на сцені перед залом
голова правління АСУ виступає з мікрофоном з залу на круглому столі щодо допомоги постраждалим від вибухонебезпечних предметів в Україні

The international NGO “ALPS Resilience” (ALPS) implemented a part of the project to provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs in Volyn, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi regions. Since March 2023, the ALPS team has provided assistance to 193 centers and more than 24,000 IDPs in the following areas: provision of non-food items (household appliances and furniture); maintenance and repair work; and compensation for utility bills. Each IDP center was accompanied by volunteers who ensured the integrity, timeliness and relevance of the assistance provided by consulting both IDPs and Center Coordinators. As a result, almost 100% of the IDPs surveyed said they were satisfied with the assistance provided.

3. Non-technical survey (NTS)

From June 16, 2023, UDA received a MA certificate from the MA Center that gives permission to conduct non-technical survey (NTS) of territories. NTS is the first step in humanitarian demining, which helps with the collection and analysis of data on the presence, type, distribution of mines and explosive ordnance. Also this is the fastest way to return lands to their intended use.

NTS activities in partnership with the UN OCHA were held in Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, in particularly in Byshiv, Tomashiv, Kozhanka rural and Fastiv urban territorial hromadas of Fastiv district and Sukhopolovyansk rural territorial hromada of Pryluky district and Mensk urban territorial hromadas of Koriukiv district. Based on the results of the work of 2 NTS groups – 96 IMSMA reports were submitted.

In addition, humanitarian demining work was completed in November 2023, namely: clearing the area of hostilities in the de-occupied territory (agricultural fields) of Makariv hromada, Bucha district, Kyiv region. A total of 53.35 hectares were cleared in both hromadas during the past year.

The results of all UDA’s project work in 2023 can be found in the article “Achievements and results of the UDA work in 2023“.

4. Training of deminer withing OCHA project

As part of the project, deminers completed of EOD 2 and EOD 3 levels trainings (explosive ordnance disposal). In total, we have trained 15 deminers during past year.

5 deminers from the State Border Service (EOD 2 and EOD 3 level) and 10 from civilian operators of the UDA and Demining Solutions (5 deminers of the EOD 2 level and 5 deminers of the EOD 3 level) were trained in humanitarian demining.

сапери в захисній формі проводять практичні тренування в полі
10 саперів сидять на лекції, в класі у 2 ряди, в центрі для підготовки саперів, за проєктом OCHA

All participants have successfully completed training as a deminers in order to join demining teams. In total, from January to October 2023, about 350 people in Ukraine completed similar training. Watch a short video of deminers training.

5. Capacity building for the non-profit organizations

One of the tasks of this project for us was capacity building for the NGOs, CSOs, CBOs, and community volunteer groups to continue provision in line with humanitarian standards in Kyiv, Rivne and Volyn regions. By conducting two competitions, we selected 11 non-profit organizations to develop their potential. Certified UDA trainers conducted trainings for them in strategic planning, Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), as well as security policy. With the UDA’s assistance, all 11 organizations created strategic plans for 3 years, developed internal PSEA and security policies, and also purchased office equipment for their needs.

2 представники жінки від АСУ та 2 представників чоловіків від UN OCHA в офісі АСУ за круглим столом на спільній зустрічі

After the UN OCHA visit to UDA’s office in July and the Lesson Learned Workshop in August 2023 in Dnipro it was decided to add activities for selected orginizations to do some real need assesment of collective sites. As a result this will give to the organizations the real experience in humanitarian sector.

Thus, as a result of this project, our organization provided assistance to 11 organizations working in Kyiv, Rivne, and Volyn regions with IDPs. This assistance continues this year as well. UDA plans to further develop these non-profit organizations, focusing on their direct activities with IDPs in their places of compact residence.

So, during more than two years of our work in cooperation with UN OCHA, we have achieved significant results. Our joint work in 2024 is still ongoing and we are doing our best for the most effective implementation of the tasks set before us.

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