The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been raging since 2014, degrading the once-economically-profitable Donetska and Luhanska oblasts and affecting the lives of millions of civilians. Since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014 up until the end of January 2022, according to OHCHR, at least 3,090 civilians were killed, and over 7,000 were injured as a result of hostilities and mine contamination.
The security situation across the large territory of Ukraine has deteriorated rapidly since the start of the military offensive on 24 February 2022. The intense fighting, shelling and mining have resulted in a grave humanitarian crisis, including loss of life and injuries, the mass movement and displacement of people throughout the country and across borders to neighbouring countries, communities trapped in encircled towns and cities without food, water, medical care, power, or safe passage, as well as severe destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure and residential housing. The entire humanitarian community is scaling up the delivery of supplies and services to meet these immense needs, including to places where there was previously no humanitarian presence.
Established in 2019, the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF) is a strategic and vital tool available to donors to pool their contributions into single, unearmarked funds to enable humanitarian partners to deliver timely, coordinated and principled assistance within the framework of Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) and Flash Appeals, retaining the flexibility to allocate funds to unforeseen events or special requirements.
The UHF has supported priorities outlined in the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine, primarily targeting the need for critical humanitarian access in non-Government-controlled areas and supporting efforts to bridge humanitarian and development activities in Government-controlled areas. The Fund demonstrated its value during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an effective tool for disbursing funds in a timely and flexible manner to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
On 27 February 2022, the Humanitarian Coordinator allocated the first envelope of US$18 million to scale up humanitarian response across Ukraine to support the best-placed partners delivering life-saving assistance (like critical mobile health programmes, trauma and psychological first aid, safe drinking water, cash for food, shelter, among other priority interventions). With increased donor contributions to the UHF, the Humanitarian Coordinator has since increased the envelope of the ongoing reserve allocation to $30 million.
For more information on the current response priorities, please refer to the 2022 Flash Appeal, covering the first three months following the rapid deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
Management of the Fund
Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the overall management of OCHA, the UHF aims to support the timely allocation and disbursement of donor resources to the most critical humanitarian needs as defined by Ukraine’s annual HRPs supported by inter-agency/cluster coordination mechanisms in the country.
The UHF is supported by OCHA’s Humanitarian Financing Unit (HFU) at the country level.
Feedback and Complaints
With the main purpose to ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the UHF management, a feedback and complaints mechanism has been established within the UHF performance framework. One part of this dual system directly addresses any concern or complaint made by UHF partners, while the other part focuses on any concern or complaint raised by the beneficiaries of UHF-funded projects or other stakeholders involved in the implementation process.
Complaints from stakeholders concerning UHF allocation processes should be sent to feedback-UHF@un.org. Complaints will be compiled, reviewed by the OCHA Head of Office, and raised to the HC, who will then make a decision on necessary action(s).
If you have questions or wish to apply for Ukraine Humanitarian Fund’s grants, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.