Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 15 June 2021 – Seven families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) this week received the keys to new apartments in Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast thanks to the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme (UERP) of the European Investment Bank (EIB), with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Local governments have received long-term loans for rebuilding infrastructure in nine oblasts of Ukraine under the EUR 200 million EIB programme. Of this, EUR 32 million was provided for the reconstruction of 30 socially important facilities in Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol and other cities in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Chairman of Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration Oleksandr Starukh said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the handing over of the keys to the flats that over 53,000 IDPs live in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, most of whom have no plans to return to their previous places of residence.
"Together, we need to provide favourable living environment for these people in our oblast, to help them adjust to their new reality and to create a mutually friendly atmosphere for both IDPs and their host communities," Starukh said.
The apartments – four with one room, two with two rooms, and one with three rooms – are located on the ground floor of the city’s oldest nine-storey residential building, which was built in 1965. Prior to the reconstruction, this floor contained non-residential premises with an area of 321 square meters. The premises had been unused since October 2012. Members of the seven families receiving the apartments included medical workers.
Rémi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said the new housing was a visible and concrete benefit of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement for the citizens of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
“All people deserve a decent place to live,” Duflot said. “That’s why the EU to strongly supports the modernization of social infrastructure in Ukraine. We are proud that the concessional loans of the EIB, the EU bank, together with the EU's grant money, were put to good use to renovate apartments for internally displaced persons in Berdiansk.”
Senior Sector Specialist of the Regional Development Division at the Resident Representation of the European Investment Bank in Ukraine Roy Draycott said that in total, the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme was supporting the reconstruction of 246 facilities, which would provide over 5 million Ukrainians with access to high-quality infrastructure.
"There is no better place than home,” Draycott said. “However, thousands of people have lost their homes due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We’re pleased that the EIB programme is helping to restore social infrastructure in the country, improving kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and providing housing for those who need it most, for example, the families of IDPs in Berdiansk."
The conversion of the non-residential premises on the ground floor of the house in Berdiansk into apartments began early in 2020. With the support of the EIB Ukraine Early Recovery Programme, the premises were connected to heating, ventilation, water supply, sewerage and electricity networks, interior decoration of the apartments was carried out, and landscaping of the areas around the building was completed.
The cost of the renovation totalled UAH 11.326 million, of which around UAH 9 million were loans from the EIB and more than UAH 2 million were funds from the local budget.
Manager of the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) Victor Munteanu underlined the importance of socially focused projects in the socio-economic recovery of eastern Ukraine and support for IDPs.
“A priority in our recovery work is the human centric approach,” Munteanu said. “The need for housing and decent living conditions is an essential one for every person. Thanks to micro-projects like these, people not only get improved living conditions, they become more confident about their future."
In total, 30 socially important facilities in Berdiansk, Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol and Prymorsk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast are to be renovated at a total cost of EUR 32 million under the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme. They include four kindergartens, 12 secondary and specialized schools, seven medical facilities, five residential buildings, a Palace of Arts and a Palace of Culture.
In Berdiansk, in addition to the housing for IDPs, a secondary school, a senior high school and a dormitory are to be renovated.