«People in the contact line area will struggle to survive without humanitarian aid», ‒ Jock Mendoza-Wilson
Two years after the outbreak of conflict the most distressed Donbas citizens are still those living in the villages along the contact line. That is why the humanitarian aid they receive from "mobile" teams of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is so important. This was said on July, 6 in Kyiv, by Jock Mendoza-Wilson, SCM Director of International and Investor Relations during the roundtable meeting to discuss "Humanitarian Map 2.0. The Map of expectations and moods".
"There are about 600,000 people living near the contact line in non-government-controlled areas and 200,000 people living near the line in government-controlled territory. Their life is deeply affected by the war. They have no essential food supplies or access to medical services, often there is no electricity and water. People feel lost and abandoned. The "mobile" teams of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center do a great job issuing food packages to the residents on the front-line area. Without this help these people who have become hostages to the consequences of the armed conflict would struggle to survive", ‒ Jock Mendoza-Wilson stated.
According to the research of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted in May-June 2016 and commissioed by the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, the worst situation is observed in villages and small towns of Donetsk region, especially in non-government-controlled areas. The most distressed category is elderly people over 60.
"The main problem is food. Many of Donbas residents have a very low income or no income at all. They have no support from the state. And it is impossible for them to survive without humanitarian aid. Humanitarian missions still have so much work to do. Their aid should be delivered both to non-government-controlled and government-controlled areas. But it would be great to see some steps from the government towards assisting with this issue. Ukrainian citizens could have hope for the future then", ‒ Mr Mendoza-Wilson emphasized.
The Director of International and Investor Relations at SCM also mentioned that all international and Ukrainian charitable organizations need to see improved leadership and coordination from the government, when dealing with humanitarian assistance. "Humanitarian organizations want to work more effectively. They should be given the possibility to help people. I must urge the Ukrainian government to work with those organizations and people who are involved in humanitarian assistance every day to improve the situation", ‒ he said.
Jock also mentioned the difficult situation with crossing the contact line. "Every month about 600,000 people are trying to go through the checkpoints, but their traffic capacity is very low. To get from one part of Ukraine to another people are risking their lives often under shelling and arduous conditions. In summer they have to wait in many kilometres of lines in the heat and sit in the cars for hours. Entry system must be improved to reduce the risk and hardship that people face", ‒ Jock Mendoza-Wilson stated.