The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) works to enable local communities and citizens’ interest groups to identify their own needs related to community security, and to design – jointly with the local authorities – appropriate measures or policies, as well as advocating for the allocation of resources. Through this community-based approach, the programme ensures that the most vulnerable and excluded groups of women and men are not left behind in the processes of recovery and peacebuilding in eastern Ukraine.
Women and men residing in UNDP-targeted conflict-affected communities, on average, have become less worried about common security issues (46.6 percent versus 67.5 percent in non-targeted areas), such as a lack of street lighting or the presence of stray dogs, through community-driven initiatives coordinated and funded by the UN RPP.
Over 300,000 residents of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have benefited from more than 160 local initiatives on community security, social cohesion, rule of law, and gender equality. Over 1,600 survivors of gender-based violence have received legal and psychological assistance.
General perceptions among the local population of the effectiveness of justice institutions in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts that were supported by the UN RPP have improved from 40 percent to 51 percent.
More conflict-affected women and men in Ukraine are now aware of free legal aid services thanks to UN RPP’s advocacy efforts – 39.9 percent in Donetsk Oblast (13.9 percent increase since 2017) and 38.5 percent in Luhansk Oblast (19.5 percent increase since 2017). Since 2016, some 114,249 conflict-affected people (60 percent women) have received free legal aid through programme-supported services. Legal Aid Offices have been opened at entry-exit checkpoints in Novotroitske and Mariinka to serve people coming from NGCAs.
Thirty Community Security Working Groups (CSWGs) are now functioning and continuing to raise awareness about community-related social issues, as well as drawing up proposals and plans for local authorities and other stakeholders to address these issues. Significantly, more than 70 percent of CSWG members feel that their views are being taken into account in efforts to improve community security.
Videoconferencing facilities have been established in 32 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to ensure there is more effective coordination between the local authorities, rescue services and law enforcement agencies.