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HUMANITARIAN MAP OF DONBAS: the main requirement of the population is medications


Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center and Dopomozhemo TV presented an updated Humanitarian Map of current situation and needs in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The updated map is based on sociological research data of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), obtained in early September 2015. This project has become one of the most important tools to achieve the goal that was set for the Humanitarian Center: provide effective assistance where it is particularly necessary.

Aside from the major requirements in food, medications and household goods, the KIIS specialists also studied quality and availability of drinking water, the situation in education and employment sector and the unemployment rate. Special attention was paid to the work of schools and kindergartens, as well as public awareness of mine safety.

Major requirements

"The main results of the new research show that people assess the overall situation that they are living in much better vs the last year and all the previous researches. 2/3 think that it is difficult to live this way, but possible to handle. There is a great decrease of opinions like "can't handle this distress anymore" (12%), – Natalia Kharchenko, executive director at KIIS, announced. – Improvement in the situation in towns was noticed by 44% of respondents, and only 2% observed deterioration. Obviously this is due to suspension of hostilities. In June 36% of respondents reported about active military actions in their town, and in September it was mentioned only by 7%. According to respondents, the actual ceasefire has been established in most of the towns since the end of August.

The situation with food products and household goods has also improved a lot vs 1H 2015. Nevertheless, the one third of respondents feel the shortage of food, and the quarter of respondents feel the lack of non-food items. The situation with medications remains difficult. 50% of local residents require medications. There is a shortage of essential drugs: antibiotics, cardiovascular medications, pharmaceuticals for diabetics, antipyretics and antibiotics. The main cause is restriction on the transportation of medications across the contact line.

"The fact that residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are talking about improvement of the situation can be explained by several reasons, – Rimma Fil, the Coordinator of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, believes. – First, the war has been lasting for a year and a half, and it may sound wrong and scary, but people are used to it. They are used to live in poor conditions. That is why the slightest improvement or just lack of deterioration is perceived with great joy and hope. Second, there is a fragile ceasefire being maintained in Donbas during the last few weeks. There are practically no explosions and shots being heard on both sides of the contact line. After the long months of active hostilities people got an opportunity to have a restful sleep, go to work and school, meet their friends. Third, the activity of humanitarian missions has also influenced the improvement of the overall situation. Thanks to the support of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center and other organizations, the local people feel more confident. They know that they will not be forgotten and left with their troubles alone".

Situation in education

The situation in education can be called satisfactory as compared to last year. The main problems of schools are requirement in construction materials for repair works and lack of necessary textbooks. Besides, the meals at schools and in kindergartens are not various (porridges and soups only). There is a lack of meat, fish, dairy products and fruit.

The main problems of parents are the high prices of all the necessary things for their child's education and schools' demands for parent's financing, such as repairs and meals.

Kindergartens are working till 18:00; schools have the functioning extended-day groups. The services of psychologists are available. Due to the situation in the region there is a necessity to introduce additional classes on safety.

Problems of employment

The main reason for job loss is closure or relocation of the enterprise. At the same time the unemployed people are not looking for a job in other towns. The employed respondents mostly work not by their occupation, some of them have settled for less qualified jobs.

The most popular way of job search is searching through friends. The main job selection criterion is the frequency of salary payments. The salary that local civilians are paid is mostly twice lower than before the conflict. The most affected employees are the workers of mines and industrial enterprises, the employees of trade sector and budget organizations. According to KIIS employees, they either lost their jobs, or their salary was significantly reduced.