An armed conflict erupted throughout Donbass region in the aftermath of the so-called ‘’Euromadian revolution’’ in 2014 and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. In spite of several ceasefires and the Minsk agreements with attempts to provide a peaceful resolution to the conflict, hostilities continue to pose an immediate threat to human security. Approximately 7,000 square kilometers were suspected to be contaminated by mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war in Donbass region only, while Ukraine still suffers from contamination in other parts dating back from both world wars. With the start of the active armed conflict in February 2022 across the whole Ukraine, the scope of mine contamination has greatly increased, as did the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and the number of civilian casualties.
Humanitarian situation is dire as many people struggle to satisfy their basic needs and as the government struggles to provide all necessary assistance. UNHCR expects at least 12 million refugees escaping Ukraine by the end of the 2022. Currently the data shows at least 2 million refugees, who are children and youngsters, escaping to the neighbouring countries. Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, more than 12,000 people have lost their lives and more than 26,000 people have been wounded according to the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office. This number will unfortunately rise in correlation to the recent armed conflict across Ukraine.
In order to support implementation of activities, ITF has in June 2016 established its Temporary Representative Office in Ukraine.
What we do
Since 2014 until end of July 2019, ITF has enabled psychosocial rehabilitation for 465 children from Donbass region in Ukraine, who were severely traumatized due to war atrocities, have lost their relatives or friends and whose families are dealing with very tough economic circumstances. The project will continue with additional 71 children to be included into the tailor-made psychosocial rehabilitation program until end of 2022, while ITF would like to expand the program and engage even more children in need. In 2022, ITF will provide psychosocial rehabilitation for 80 Ukrainian refugees in Slovenia, as a urgent response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
ITF has also successfully enabled the physical rehabilitation for a 15-year-old girl who was severly wounded and lost her left leg during the conflict in Ukraine. First four phases of rehabilitation were successfully completed in the period of 2015-2018 at the University Rehabilitation Institute in Slovenia (URI – Soča). The treatment continued in 2019, when she received a new below-knee prosthesis. Furthermore, ITF also enabled the rehabilitation of a Ukrainian internally displaced boy in Budapest. Due to the rising number of casualties ITF is fundraising to ensure physical rehabilitation for additional children in need.
National rehabilitation capacities in Ukraine are limited and cannot address the needs presented with the aftermath of armed conflict in Ukraine. ITF always puts emphasis on capacity building and is currently working on equipping the Ukrainian Research Institute for Prosthetics and Rehabilitation in Kharkov.