Connecting people isolated by conflict

Ukraine | 2021 | CBPF

Ukraine, Donetska and Luhanska. Almost eight years of fighting have had profound consequences on the lives of over five million people in the conflict-affected Donetska and Luhanska oblasts in eastern Ukraine.

Hundreds of thousands of people live in villages and towns almost completely isolated by the conflict, with no reliable internet communications and limited access to social services, banks and ATMs. Eighty settlements along the “contact line” do not have access to public transportation.

Luibov, 61 years old, lives in Sievierne, Donetska oblast (GCA). She takes care of her mother, who is 85 years old and confined to bed. For Luibov, reaching the nearby towns is complicated because of the lack of public transportation. However, this is the only way she and others can access essential services and get to a hospital and a pharmacy.

Even a grocery store is not available in the settlement where she lives.

To support Luibov and 20,000 people in isolated communities, the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund supported a social transportation project implemented by the national NGO Proliska. Now people can use this bus to receive essential services and purchase food and other basics.

“We have nothing here, nothing. We have to go to Avdiivka to get bread, salt and even matches. There is no public transport here. Nothing at all. We used to have a bus that went to Donetsk five times a day. We did not have any troubles then,” says another passenger.

The only alternative—to rent a car—is not affordable for most people. “To get to Avdiivka by car, I have to pay UAH250 (US$9) out of my UAH2,200 ($82) pension. It is costly. If not for this bus, I am not sure how we would have survived. Before, we had no transport connection at all.”

More information on the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund: