Helping keep Ukrainians warm through the winter

Olha and her children. Photo: ZOA

Ukraine | 2024 | CBPF

Ukraine, Kozylivka village. Olha and her children fled eastern Ukraine last year. Intense fighting had devastated residential areas and many civilians died.

Olha found a new home and refuge in the village of Kozylivka, Chernihiv Region, in the north of the country.  She saw an online advertisement from a family willing to donate their homes to displaced people. 

Recalling the state of their new home, Olha describes it as dismal: “The building had been uninhabited for some time and was in poor condition. The old wooden window frames were cracked, letting in the wind and rain. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to keep the house warm during the cold months.” 

The family received winter assistance, including firewood and other supplies, through OCHA’s implementing partner agency ZOA, funded by the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, as part of a winter response project. 

Ukraine’s very cold winter – which lasts from about October until March – adds new vulnerability in a country where 14.6 million people need humanitarian assistance. “Freezing winter months are already extremely challenging for people to survive, let alone when their homes and critical civilian infrastructure constantly come under fire,” explains Sarah Hilding der Weduwen, Head of OCHA Ukraine. 

More than 110 aid organizations developed a joint Winter Response Plan to alleviate people’s hardship and support the government’s response. The aid focused on front-line areas as well as those hosting many displaced people, notably around Dnipro, Donetsk, and Kharkiv. 

Six months since the plan was launched, it has helped more than two million Ukrainians, including Olha and her children.

Original story: adapted from original articles by OCHA Ukraine.

More information about the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund