Kyiv (ICRC) – The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the crisis for the civilian population living in the Donbas conflict area, with nearly 5 of 10 households saying that they had difficulties to access stores and markets due to the quarantine measures.

Only 12% of household members surveyed indicated that they had enough savings to cope for more than one month, a sign of the precarious financial situation much of the population is in. In fact, a worrying 43% of households reported that they would not be able to manage without assistance for more than one week.

The survey of 252 households was conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the settlements of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control of the government of Ukraine. Other findings from the survey:

_ 75% of respondents said food prices had increased due to COVID-19; 47% said prices of other items unrelated to food had increased

_ 35% of respondents said the COVID-19 has negatively affected their household incomes

_ 47% of the households surveyed said they had difficulties to access stores and markets due to quarantine measures

“These survey results show that many families are having both financial difficulty and problems accessing food markets due to both COVID-19 and the conflict more generally,” said Florence Gillette, the head of the ICRC delegation in Ukraine. “That means that ICRC programs to give money to families in need aren’t good enough. We need to again increase deliveries of food and hygiene parcels.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the ICRC has distributed more than 45’000 of food and hygiene parcels in 136 settlements on both sides of the contact line. We also assisted 56 medical institutions located in the conflict zone in the Donbass, providing medicines, personal protective equipment, and installing temporary points to check for coronavirus for everyone who goes to hospital for treatment in Novoaidar.

The ICRC survey was conducted on May 12 to June 03 in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. A total of 252 households were interviewed. The average household size was 2.48 people; the average age of household members was 54 years.


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