HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE AND STRATEGIC PLANNING. STATE IS UPGRADING HUMANITARIAN COOPERATION PRINCIPLES
These reports are strategic and extremely important, as they actually determine the priorities of our humanitarian cooperation with all UN agencies and with other partners.
We are grateful to all our humanitarian partners who continue to assist Ukraine in responding to urgent humanitarian challenges on the 6th year of the war. We value professional assistance, a deep understanding of the nature of our issues, the will and willingness of the ОСНА leadership to assist.
However, to resolve any problem, we need to get to the bottom of the cause. This is our logic. For over 70 years, Ukraine has lived without war. For six years in a row, we have been living in other realities.
It is wrong to assume that the victims of war are 5 million residents of the Temporarily Occupied Territories (TOT), the Frontline Zone and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) (as stated in the reports of our partners).
The victims of Donbas war and the occupation of Crimea are the entire population of Ukraine and those Ukrainians who were forced to travel outside the state looking for a better life.
Before the war the population of our country was 46 million. According to the latest estimates of the Government, there are about 37 million persons living in the Government-controlled territory. In fact, the state has lost contact with 9 million of its citizens.
I will not go in details again of the statistics of the direct consequences of military aggression, annexation of Crimea and occupation of part of Donbas. The tendency is quite indicative in the ОСНА report.
For us, every citizen who feels inefficient state services is the direction to go.
Our main goal in this direction is the effective reintegration of our people (regardless of their place of residence) into the Ukrainian cultural and legal space. This also applies to citizens living in temporarily occupied territories, and internally displaced persons, and those Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine looking for stability.
I would like to emphasize the main priorities of the Ministry's team in the direction of reintegration of our citizens (first of all) and territories, providing for humanitarian needs of those segments of the population who need it.
1. The issue of meeting basic human needs.
The war in Ukraine lasts for 6 years. Unfortunately, state institutions have worked in the emergency format until recently. Hence, there is the lack of a comprehensive strategy, some chaotic actions, and the imbalance of projects.
At this time, the assistance of our partners, who were forced to work with us in the “firefighting mode”, was very important. The time has come to say: the reintegration of people and territories, the war in the East is protracted.
The state needs to move from solely urgent response methods to development programs.
And in this desire we find the understanding of our partners.
We have learned the experience of inter-cluster cooperation and offer our partners a more active coordinating role for the state. In particular, with the issue of verification of needs.
2. Efficiency of public services.
Our team aims to simplify the access of the citizens from the temporarily occupied territories to the main state services - administrative, educational, and medical.
At the end of last year, we significantly simplified the procedure for crossing the contact line, addressing a number of urgent needs of our citizens who are forced to live in temporarily occupied territories.
The result can be seen today - there has been an increase in the number of EECP crossings in Donbas, as well as the transportation of goods.
At the next Government session, we will take another step in this direction.
3. Investment in infrastructure.
The Government together with specialists is developing a new effective program for investment development in the region, focusing on infrastructure projects, which can also over time change the economic structure of the region, improve the environmental situation.
One of these promising projects is being worked on today with the World Bank. We are talking about the development of transport and logistics infrastructure, support of agricultural projects in Luhansk Oblast.
4. Information component.
The Russian aggression did not begin with the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of part of Donbas. It started long before in the information space; from the dominance of Russian episodes on the Ukrainian TV space, from overt and covert propaganda.
Hybrid war is the reality of today.
The last most striking case is the situation with provocative boards in Kyiv. The combat actions are being transferred from Donbas to the capital.
The famous Bismarck phrase should not be forgotten: the war is won not by generals but by school teachers and priests. This is about hybrid information campaigns.
5. Housing programs.
The Ministry has developed and has already launched comprehensive compensation programs for destroyed housing, as well as a range of housing programs for displaced persons.
In particular, a register of destroyed housing will be created and updated. This year's budget provides for over UAH 40 million in compensation payments.
With regard to housing for IDPs, we have also moved on to the implementation of individual projects. It is about co-financing with local communities and about preferential loan programs.
6. Mine Action.
In the near future, we will complete work on a draft bill that should address a number of urgent issues.
The next step is a mine action strategy.
We are working on reformatting and updating the information direction.
7. Activities with illegally detained.
This direction has also become a priority for us. We started with the establishment of a list of detainees, its verification.
Already previous activity indicates the existence of at least 400 citizens of Ukraine who are illegally imprisoned in the TOT of Donbas, 133 citizens in the Crimea and Russia.
These figures need clarification. Behind them is the fate of real Ukrainians, who should be remembered and cared for by the state.
On the experience of work with the released, we have developed a roadmap for state authorities responding to the release of prisoners of war and illegally imprisoned civilians.
These are the interim results of our team work over the last six months. These strategic principles will be implemented in a consistent and effective way to reintegrate people and territories. Regardless of the format of work of state institutions, the functionalities of which will be addressed by these issues.
But the main conclusion made by our Government is that resolving the issue of reintegration requires, first and foremost, political will, determination, effective cross-sectoral cooperation and the interaction of different authorities. And the corresponding Deputy Prime Minister has to coordinate such work.
We are doing everything to unite our country, restore peace and tranquillity. And we want to count on the assistance from our humanitarian partners.