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GWC Field Support Team full scale emergency support to Ukraine - 5 months of direct missions and remote support

Publication: 15 Aug 2022

Recently, people in Ukraine faced another escalation of hostilities, with the number of missile strikes and the consequent impact on civilians increasing across the country. Armed conflict in the eastern and southern areas of the country is continuing. The volatile contexte limits the humanitarian community to assess the population displacement although it has been noticed that returns have increased over the last month, and it is estimated that 6.3 million people are still internally displaced, and over 6 million became refugees in European countries (as of 21st June 2022). The number of people in need (PIN) reaches 15.7 million, and the target for WASH assistance is established at 8,7 million people. The WASH Cluster alone managed to reach 4.3 million people (4.07 on water, 2.6 on Hygiene and 60,000 on Sanitation) through 36 active partners. Despite that, the WASH Cluster Flash Appeal 2022 is still underfunded as only 36% of the 216,7 Million USD requested were received, according to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

The FST team has been requested to support the Ukraine cluster since the 7th of January on coordination, information management and people centered programming/gender mainstreaming. The last cluster coordinator deployed by the FST to support national coordination was Karl Lellouche, Cluster Coordinator with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), who deployed from 3rd April to 2nd July 2022, and handed over the coordination to the new UNICEF cluster coordinator. During his three months of deployment, Karl developed nationwide cluster coordination mechanisms and launched three subnational clusters co-facilitated by Solidarités International (East Region), IOM (central and north Region) and IMC (South region).

The following improvements were notably provided by the FST and GWC Standby Partners:

  • Continued leadership of the Ukraine Wash cluster SAG. The second SAG meeting was held on the 21st of June 2022.
  • The FST supported the creation of 4 TWIGs which are now functional and lead by the following: Center Disease Control (CDC) for Water quality, Care & UNICEF for Gender and inclusion in WASH, WASH Cluster Team for assessment and UNOPS for District Heating. Household Water treatment option recommendations, Gender tipsheet, Collective Center assessment tools and winterization needs for District heating have been developed and translated in Ukrainian.
  • The Gender and Inclusion TWiG, is developing tip-sheets and provides capacity support for cluster partners, such as on gender mainstreaming in needs assessments. The TWiG is collaborating with local partners engaged in MHM interventions to contextualize tools and tip-sheets for MHM in collective centers such as with “Girls” NGO and their experience in adapting period trackers and encyclopedias on MHM for adolescent girls in Ukrainian context. 
  • Thanks to the collective works between the water utility company association, the wash cluster team and partners, the Water Utility rehabilitation and maintenance needs are gathered all over the country and transferred to WASH partners on a weekly basis. The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) supports the Water Utility rehabilitation coordination since the 7th of July through Standby partner agreement (SBP).
  • The WASH cluster is also in charge of mainstreaming the distribution of hygiene products (kits, tanks, MHM…) all over the country and to all partners (CBO, Municipality, NGO, NNGO, CBO…). All material is sourced from the UNICEF warehouse in Ukraine. 
  • An intersectoral assessment of needs in the collective center has been launched with data from Shelter, CCCM, WASH and NGO to evaluate needs for the Flash Updates and 2023 HRP. Activity-based Costing (ABC) have now been collected and will be analyzed to develop the cost of the WASH responses.
  • With an advocacy perspective, an analysis of the WASH infrastructure damage has been undertaken to evaluate how attacks are targeting WASH infrastructures in the conflict zone.
  • Finally, Intersectoral cholera/AWD Preparedness and Response plans have been launched with the Health cluster. A subnational Cluster Workshop/ Training on AWD/Cholera is currently in preparation with multiple stakeholders, civil protection, and water companies.

Read more on the Ukraine WASH Sector Website here.

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