On behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) mbH, the IB supports the special aid program Eastern Ukraine. The aim of the project is to improve the provision of health and social services in the government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. The IB advises on the identification and implementation of pilot projects to improve social services in cooperation with local administrations and civil society organizations. In this context, the development of an online based exchange of expertise and professional training on the topic of social services will be established and the consulting of GIZ employees will be supported.
The oblasts Donetsk and Luhansk are directly affected by the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine that broke out in 2014 and suffer most from its consequences. The conflict has cut off the government-controlled areas from the urban centers of the two oblasts and thus also from central institutions providing health and social services. They are predominantly rural, structurally weak and sparsely populated, and even before the conflict they were faced with high emigration and an aging population. In addition to the 3.5 million people living there, some 840,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been added to the population since the outbreak of the conflict (about 66 % of whom are of retirement age). In addition, about 200,000 people commute to the government-controlled areas every week. A large proportion of them do so, mainly to receive pensions or medical services. The ongoing conflict and its economic and social consequences increasingly aggravate the humanitarian situation. Particularly affected are elderly and ill people, single parents (mostly women), internally displaced persons and people with disabilities, who are highly dependent on social services and medical care. "People in need must not be must not be left alone in Eastern Ukraine. We must provide sufficient support for the provision of good social infrastructure. The IB has been active in the Ukraine for many years and therefore it is a special concern of ours to support”, affirms Karola Becker, Member of the Board of the Internationaler Bund (IB) and responsible for International Cooperation.