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70% of Donbas residents believe that the region will be restored during 10 years, ‒ KIIS


On July 6, 2016, during the roundtable meeting called "Humanitarian Map 2.0. The map of expectations and moods", Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) presented the data of sociological research conducted in May-June 2016 on the territory of Donetsk region by order of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center and Dopomozhemo TV.

The key aspects of the research are: social state of the population in Donetsk region two years after the military conflict commenced, people's opinions about possible development of the situation in Donbas, and current needs for food, medications and non-food products.

Major requirements

Over two years of conflict in the east of Ukraine the needs of local population in Donetsk region have reduced due to humanitarian aid. More than 50% of residents in certain towns of Donetsk region suffered critical need for medications and food (according to KIIS research in September and December 2014, March, June, September and December 2015).

Currently the situation has improved, however a quarter of population in Donetsk region still feels the shortage of medications, every fifth lacks food and every tenth suffers the shortfalls in non-food goods. People need cardiac, blood pressure and joint disease medications. People require fresh meat, dairy products and fruit.

KIIS research data show that the most distressed people are those older than 60. The worst situation is observed in small towns and villages in non-government-controlled areas.

"Key research findings show that people give a better assessment of the general situation they live in than in September 2014. At the moment 60% of respondents find the situation difficult, but possible to handle. In 2014 less than 50% of the population in Donetsk region had the same opinion. And the number of those who find their situation unbearable has halved", – Volodymyr Paniotto, KIIS General Director, announced.

The large-scale humanitarian support of the region made it possible to avoid humanitarian catastrophe and stabilize and the situation with people's needs.

According to the survey, 27% of residents in Donetsk region personally receive humanitarian aid. In absolute terms, this is more than 750,000 people older than 18.  And 75% of this aid is coming from Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center. The population also receives humanitarian aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, People in Need (Czech humanitarian organization) and other international organizations.

"After two years since the conflict commenced, humanitarian aid remains the only source of livelihood for many elderly people and vulnerable categories of Donbas population. Thanks to the large-scale humanitarian support of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, international missions and volunteer organizations the needs of local residents in Donetsk region have significantly reduced as compared to the conflict outbreak period.  Three of the four are the Humanitarian Center's aid recipients, – Rimma Fil, the Center's Coordinator, shared. – People got used to living in distress, and this is scary. In the situation of the long-lasting conflict Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center will continue working and helping in the same volumes: delivering food packages on both sides of the contact line, helping injured and severely ill children. In August the Center arranges summer vacation for Donbas children. During the difficult times Rinat Akhmetov is there for his fellow countrymen.

In the course of research result discussion, SCM Director of International and Investor Relations Jock Mendoza-Wilson emphasizes that there are people living on the contact line. Their life is constantly affected by the war.

"About 600,000 people live in non-government-controlled areas, 200,000 reside on government-controlled territory. They have no essential products and access to medical services, there is no electricity and water.  People feel forgotten and abandoned. That is why the humanitarian aid they receive from Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center and other organizations is so important. The Center's mobile teams do a great job issuing food packages to the residents of the frontline area. It is impossible for those who became the hostages of the armed conflict consequences to survive without this help. Humanitarian missions shall be provided with all the opportunities for effective work to arrange this assistance", – Jock Mendoza-Wilson said.

Social state of the population

Donbas residents estimate their financial situation lower than Ukrainian population in general: 68% of Ukraine's population and 73% of residents in Donetsk region have significant difficulties with buying food and clothes. There are also many people in Donetsk region who assess the possibility of satisfying their basic living needs quite low. 24% of residents in Donetsk region and 9% of Ukrainian population do not expect to be provided with proper medical care, 42% in Donetsk region and 23% in Ukraine do not count on a good rest, 35% in Donetsk region and 23% in Ukraine don't expect to have the possibility of free movement outside the region.

"At the same time, residents of Donetsk region are more optimistic than general Ukrainian population when estimating possible life improvements next year. Every third respondent of Donetsk region and every seventh Ukrainian forecasts that in a year their family will live better than now", – Maryna Shpiker, KIIS researcher, informed.

Development of the situation in Donbas

Peace is the main desire of the population. People want it, but they no longer believe that it comes fast. Almost half (42%) of the population in Donetsk region is not even trying to guess when the conflict comes to an end, and only 3% believe that it happens within a few months.

However, the population of Donetsk region is more optimistic when estimating a long-term perspective: 70% believe that Donbas problems will be solved within 10 years, and the region will be restored.

KIIS social research called "Humanitarian Map 2.0. The map of expectations and moods" was conducted from May 29 till June 12, 2016. 2,110 respondents older than 18 were surveyed in 100 settlements of Donetsk region, both in government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas, through telephone and computer interviewing (CATI) via landline and cell phones.