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The conflict affecting the Donbass Region started in April 2014, after several months of tensions between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists. Despite the ceasefire signed in February 2015 and renewed in September and again in December, the fighting never entirely ceased, and the already heavy toll amounting to more than 9,000 dead and 21,000 wounded further worsened. The frequent violations of the cease-fire and the limited prospect for a political settlement of the conflict in the near future make it likely that the difficulties faced by over 6 million people will continue: Internally displaced persons, people living in poorly supplied areas under separatist control, or people trapped in the buffer zone, where the inhabitants of the villages located in the middle of the defense lines, still regularly bombed, are particularly affected.

The authorities still prevent most aid agencies from operating in the separatist region. Triangle Génération Humanitaire has therefore decided to start working with the populations located close to the front line.

Current programmes

Mitigating the impact of the Donbass conflict on vulnerable populations living along the front line through the supply of hygiene products and support to the local economy

This programme is the continuation of the project implemented by TGH in the region since early 2016. It aims to improve the living conditions of the households made vulnerable by the crisis, supplementing food aid by the supply of hygiene products.

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 Area of expertise


 Key figures

 Beneficiaries: 6,400 people
 Duration: 5 months 09/2016 – 02/2017
 Budget: $255,674


  • Funding: UNICEF
  • Partner: Country of Free People
  • Direct Beneficiaries: 6,400 people
Meeting with the beneficiaries

Meeting with the beneficiaries
Photo : Ivan Deret / TGH ©

The population living along the front line, stuck in the buffer zone between the areas controlled by the government and by the rebels, is particularly vulnerable and impoverished by the deteriorating economic situation in Ukraine. The various assessments conducted by TGH identified multiple needs that affected households are not able to meet.

The latest assessment, conducted in June 2016, shows that most of the humanitarian activities carried out in the region are related to food aid (69.9%), leaving few resources for the other basic needs to cover, such as health or hygiene. Yet, in a previous survey, hygiene products were nominated by 70% of the households as one of the top 3 priority needs.

Therefore, TGH chose to carry out a new project in the region, supplementing the current action aiming to improve the food security and livelihoods of populations made vulnerable. It will consist in the provision of hygiene products according to the same model as for food aid, that is to say through vouchers giving access to various items in partner grocery stores.

Introduction of the software to a shop keeper in Kamyshekha

Introduction of the software to a shop keeper in Kamyshekha
Photo : Ivan Deret / TGH ©

Beneficiaries exchanging vouchers

Beneficiaries exchanging vouchers
Photo : Ivan Deret / TGH ©

This method provides families with emergency assistance while supporting the local economy, as it results in the injection of cash in local shops in the area. It also helps restore the autonomy of the beneficiaries, letting them choose the products they need, although the value of the vouchers are developed based on the content of UNICEF’s hygiene kits. TGH works locally in partnership with the Ukrainian Association Країна вільних людей, "Country of Free People", deeply involved in the region.

Improving the food security and livelihoods of populations made vulnerable by the conflict in Donbass

The action aims to alleviate the difficulties faced by people living in rural communities along the front line separating areas under government control from those under separatist control.

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 Area of expertise


 Key figures

 Beneficiaries: 9,800 people
 Duration: 10 months 03/2016 – 12/2016
 Budget: K€200 + donations in kind


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  • Funding: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Crisis Center)
  • Partner: Країна вільних людей, or Country of Free People (CFP) Країна вільних людей, ou Country of Free People (CFP)
  • Direct Beneficiaries: 9,800 people

The different assessments carried out by TGH highlighted the difficulties faced by the targeted people to meet their multiple needs, especially food needs. Based on these assessments, documented by the measurement of key standard indicators of food and economic security, TGH implemented its first action in Ukraine, with the aim of improving the living conditions of the people of the Donetsk Oblast who live in rural areas located near the front line.

This action will provide food assistance to the most vulnerable residents of rural areas located near the front line, especially those who do not receive any support, although they are eligible under the criteria defined by the actors in the sector.

Parcelles maraîchères au pied d'immeubles endommagés-Uglegorsk

Garden plots at the foot of damaged buildings
Photo : Ivan Deret / TGH ©

Enquête auprès d'un commerce rural

Survey of a rural business
Photo : Ivan Deret / TGH ©

In kind food aid has been the most commonly used modality since the beginning of the humanitarian response in the target area, but it does have its limitations. It is expensive, as it requires significant logistical organization in terms of volumes involved, and it does not allow the recipient to choose the goods consumed. Besides, it does not stimulate the local economy as no cash is injected. The selected option is thus to set up cash transfers, a flexible modality offering a wider range of choices to the beneficiaries, as it allows them to have access to various consumer goods or services.

The market survey conducted in January 2016 confirms that the provision of food stamps is a possible and relevant option that will help achieve the objective of improving the food situation of the most vulnerable populations, while boosting local economy. The food expenses covered by these stamps will leave the beneficiaries with more spare cash, and the latter will be able to use the part of their income usually spent on food to purchase other items, thus addressing other needs expressed, which will also be covered by cash coupons, exchangeable against cash by identified operators.

Vegetable kits will be provided in addition to the cash transfers. Supporting market gardening, a common practice, is indeed very relevant because - besides the obvious impact on food availability - it will help complement household incomes.

The action will be conducted in close partnership with the Ukrainian organization Країна вільних людей "Country of Free People", which is very active in assisting people affected by the ongoing conflict, and with which TGH conducted its latest need assessments.

Last updated September 21, 2016