Violence survivors will not only be able to quickly go to a place where they are safe from offenders, but also get psychological counselling, helping them get their lives back on track

Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova / UNDP in Ukraine

Manhush, Donetsk Oblast, 14 December 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have with national partners opened a new shelter for violence survivors in Manhush, Donetsk Oblast. 

The newly opened shelter is designed to be a 24/7 safe place for people facing various forms of domestic and gender-based violence. Here, they will be able to protect themselves from offenders and receive comprehensive counselling, social assistance and legal help from qualified specialists. A mobile unit will be working alongside the shelter, travelling to respond to cases of violence, and if needed transferring those facing violence to the shelter.

UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme Manager, a. i. Andrzej Bolesta said that the newly opened shelter in Manhush will help people receive immediate aid and support when seeking a safe place to escape violence.

“We, along with our UN sister agencies and national and international partners, are doing all we can to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, as well as other forms of violence, in eastern Ukraine,” Bolesta said.

“This is an important development for eastern Ukraine, as violence survivors might not always have unhindered and adequate access to services, due to the armed conflict and restrictions caused by the COVID-19-pandemic.

“We’re convinced that this shelter will become a beacon of hope for those who have been trapped in difficult circumstances, and that thanks to the offered services they will finally be able to live free from fear.”

The major overhaul of the shelter building included fully equipping rooms for violence survivors, and offices for staff. All renovations were carried out in line with the principles of inclusiveness so that the premises are fully accessible to all, leaving no one behind.

UNFPA Project Specialist Olga Tsuprykova expressed hope that the shelter would become a centre for providing qualified assistance to violence survivors, covering not only one community but the entire Mariupol district, and in future neighbouring communities in other districts as well.

“This year in Donetsk Oblast a mechanism was piloted for purchasing shelter services between communities in the Pokrovsk district,” Tsuprykova said. “Subject to relevant agreements, Sartana, Kalchyk, Nikolske communities today are able to redirect violence survivors from their communities to the new shelter in the Azov region, where they will have a safe place to live and receive a full range of quality services.”

The Deputy Head of the Donetsk Oblast State Administration, Yuliia Kostiunina, thanked the UN partners for many years of successful cooperation and partnership.

“The opening of the shelter is the key element of the protection and support of domestic and gender-based violence survivors,” Kostiunina said. “It demonstrates that joint actions by international organizations and local authorities can build an equally accessible system of important social services for the population”.

The address of the shelter is not being disclosed in order to guarantee the safety of violence survivors and staff.

The total project budget for the opening of the shelter amounted to U.S. $97,004 (UAH 2,609,412.50), of which U.S. $72,840.61 (UAH 1,959,412.50) were funds allocated by UNDP, and U.S $14,869.89 (UAH 400,000) were funds from the UNFPA, and U.S. $9,294 (UAH 250,000) were funds from Manhush Village Council.

The shelter for violence survivors was opened within the “Mariupol Youth Union” project, implemented by the NGO in partnership with Manhush Village Council under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with the financial support of Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. The UK provided financial support under the joint project with UNFPA.

Background

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Twelve international partners support the Programme: The European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Media enquiries

Vlada Soloviova, Communications Associate, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, vlada.soloviova@undp.org, +380 95 529 4240.

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Photo credit: Alina Bozhko / UNFPA Ukraine 

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