Key Findings from the CHS Alliance Mission to Improve the Ukraine Humanitarian Response

20 October 2015

The CHS Alliance’s deployments team undertook a mission to Ukraine in July 2015, to identify gaps and best practices in the response and assist in setting up Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) systems.

The CHS Alliance’s deployments team undertook a mission to Ukraine from 12-25 July 2015, to identify gaps and best practices in the response and assist in setting up Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) systems.

The full mission report presents findings on how effectively the response is applying each of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)’s nine commitments as well as suggested ways forward. The mission took place following a request from the Kiev-based NGO forum and was hosted by Save the Children. The Alliance met over 30 representatives of national and international NGOs, and UN agencies, as well as individuals from affected communities including both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and locals.

Key mission findings:

Government Controlled Areas (GCA)

In GCA, stakeholders interviewed have highlighted that the quality and accountability of the response was mainly affected by:

  • Lack of experience in emergency response from national organisations and national staff
  • Challenges related to a new operational context faced by some of the international staff
  • Lack of strong partnerships between international and local actors
  • Difficulties faced by coordination structures
  • Short term funding cycles and funding unpredictability preventing meaningful engagement with communities

Non-government controlled areas (NGCA)

Ongoing conflict, unpredictable security and, as a direct consequence of it, restricted access and declining humanitarian space characterise the operating environment in NGCA and the buffer zones. The buffer zones are home to some of the most vulnerable populations and the current response does not provide enough assistance or solutions to their situation. Security protocols often do not allow UN agencies and international NGOs to access these areas resulting in poor knowledge of the situation faced by affected people there and what their priority needs might be.

Additional challenges:

  • Ongoing conflict and the unpredictable security situation
  • Logistic constraints, bureaucracy and corruption affecting transport of goods across check points
  • Lack of knowledge amongst de facto authorities of the laws, codes and standards underpinning and regulating the work of humanitarian workers and organisations
  • Risk that political discussions have a negative impact on humanitarian space

A two-day introduction to the CHS also took place in Kiev, hosted by United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with 17 staff national and international staff taking part.