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Multisectoral assistance

Humanitarian Assistance

With the onset of the conflict on 24 February, Hungarian Interchurch Aid immediately started to prepare its response. The disruption of supply chains coupled with a huge displacement crisis meant that during the chaotic spring months, providing emergency access to basic food and non-food items as well as health & hygiene products was critical. However, where fighting ceased as new territories were liberated, the importance of in-kind aid remains paramount to this day.

To support humanitarian operations in Ukraine logistically, HIA set up warehouses in Budapest, Berehove and Lviv in the first days of the war. During spring, HIA delivered in-kind aid to support the tens of thousands of displaced people arriving in Western Ukraine from the war-affected regions. More than 250 community shelters received food, sanitary products, clothes and household appliances throughout the year. As time went on and Russian troops were forced into retreat from their positions in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kherson regions, HIA reoriented its in-kind aid programme towards the liberated territories. With a focus on hard-to-reach locations - where international aid organisations rarely venture - HIA has delivered aid in places where military activity is still ongoing, such as Kherson itself.

Protection & Psychosocial Support

Through several programmes, Hungarian Interchurch Aid is involved in the protection of Ukrainians throughout the country. From free legal counsel to resilience-building community workshops, from sports programmes to art- and psychotherapy, HIA and its partners in the field work together to preserve their mental wellbeing. HIA’s goal remains to help those traumatised by the fighting, bombing and the uncertainty of life in Ukraine. The past year has left a large percentage of Ukrainians at least mentally scarred – and children are especially affected by the horrors of war. Apart from working directly with them, HIA also provides further trainings for psychologists in order to reach as many people as possible.

Cash Assistance

To help those deprived by the war, HIA employs two types of cash transfers for individuals. In the organisation’s effort to empower large masses of people at once, multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA) allows for a more people-centred relief, granting beneficiaries freedom of choice and returning a degree of dignity into their lives. The financial support received within the MPCA programme is a three-month instalment of 6600 UAH. Cash for protection – also called Assess & Assist - intends to benefit those, who have specific protection issues that cannot be covered by the multi-purpose cash transfers, like an upcoming medical expenditure. Hungarian Interchurch Aid has been providing internally displaced Ukrainians with cash transfers since June of 2022. Applicants are registered and reviewed whether they fit the criteria agreed by the Cash Working Group in Ukraine.

Flexible Small Grants

The Ukrainian civil society was quick to organise itself after the outbreak of war, doing tremendous and essential work – but as the war dragged on, their financial means to continue doing their part became more and more limited. Believing in the power of community, HIA introduced grants (Flexible Small Grants – FSG) for these organisations who are involved in the humanitarian work in Ukraine. The cooperation between HIA and the organisations is mutually beneficial, since the knowledge of local needs coupled with HIA’s humanitarian expertise enables a grassroot-level response while strengthening the resilience of local actors. Some organisations need the FSG funding to buy food & hygiene products for the displaced people in their care, others need them for winterization items and support or specialists for therapy. Whatever the purpose of the grantees may be, HIA supports their aim with flexible-use grants up to $10,000 each. Each project has a duration of 2 to 3 months, after which the cooperation is evaluated, and a decision is made on the renewal of the agreement.

Reconstruction & Development

Following the retreat of Russian forces from Northern Ukraine, Hungarian Interchurch Aid faced a situation that necessitated a different approach to its previous work in Ukraine. The thoroughly and intentionally damaged public infrastructure reinforced the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn regions. Seeing the scale destruction in Borodyanka, Irpin, Bucha and the whole area, HIA sought to cooperate with other actors, especially with its strategic partner, the Hungarian Government. HIA received funding for the renovation of a school in Zahal'tsi and the building of a healthcare facility with added post and local government functions in Synyak. Part of this same project was the installation of a kindergarten made up of mobile containers to replace the original structure in Zahal’tsi, which was completely destroyed by the fighting during last spring.