General Coordination Meeting – Kharkiv, Ukraine 21 August, 2015 Discussion Overview of key humanitarian issues IDP Statistics – Update from SES According to State Emergency Service (SES) for Kharkiv Region, the total number of IDPs registered by the SES Regional Headquarters in Kharkiv Oblast as of 21 August is 186,674 persons (as compared to 177,638 as of 30 June). Of them, there are 21,658 children, 40,808 persons of working age, 8,725 people with disabilities, and 115,482 pensioners. According to SES, the IDP influx dynamics remains stable, with around 1,200-1,400 IDPs registering per week during the past few weeks. Overview and discussion of the new Law on Local Elections, its implications for IDPs and other problems faced by internally displaced 1. OHCHR/MMHR briefed the participants on the current situation following the adoption of the new Law on Local Elections. Article III of the Law, which was adopted on 14 July, excludes IDPs from the election process, regardless of their registration status. Even duly registered IDPs cannot participate in local elections because they lack passports issued by Ukraine. Those, who receive the required passport, immediately lose their IDP status and, consequently, all social benefits. An amended draft law was recently proposed by the opposition block, which envisages the IDP right to take part in local elections. A similar draft law will also be jointly submitted to the central government in one week’s time by public associations. 2. According to OHCHR, yet another draft law is currently under preparation. This one proposes amendments in the Civil Practice Act. As is well known, birth and death certificates, marriage certificates and other similar documents issued in NGCAs are not recognized by Ukraine, to say nothing of the stamps applied in the so-called DPR and LPR. There is always an opportunity for a legal action, e.g. filing a suite in a court of law, and the proposed draft law is aimed at simplifying this procedure. The court decision in this case must be made within 23 hours. 3. OHCHR provided an update on the implementation status of the Resolution of Cabinet Ministers on the introduction of amendments into Resolutions #509 and #505. This United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) | Ukraine Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org Action Points / Decisions Resolution, which was issued on June 15, envisages an exceptional use of Oschad Bank by IDP population. Moreover, Oschad Bank must take over the IDP registration function from the Social Security Department. All IDPs willing to receive the so-called target assistance must now register with Oschad Bank and sign their agreement to a ‘disclosure of banking secrecy’, including all their personal data. As of 21 August, most Oschad Bank operators in the region are unaware of the new Resolution and refuse to accept documents from IDPs. 4. On 19 August, Prime Minister of Ukraine solicited the Cabinet of Ministers to improve the IDP registration procedure in order to find out the exact number of IDPs living on the territory of Ukraine (GCAs). This implies intensified checks on part of the state migration service and local police. According to the meeting participants, new numbers will hardly be precise, as checks are conducted during the day when people are at work, in hospitals or run different errands, and consequences are unpredictable. OHCHR will follow up on further developments and will inform the GCM meeting participants accordingly. OCHA will provide partners with more detailed information on cash training, including dates and registration procedures. Updates from partners and introduction of new humanitarian partners OCHA confirmed the relocation of its office from Kharkiv to Kramatorsk. While the geographical coverage remains the same (namely, Kharkivska, Dnipropetrovska, Zaporizhska, and northern part of Donetska oblasts), relocation will make it possible for OCHA team to pay increased attention to the issues of Donetska Oblast. OCHA informed participants on the arrival of the Civil-Military Coordination Officer in the area whose work, despite he is based in Kramatorsk, will have positive implications on the activities of all humanitarian partners engaged in IDP assistance. Specifically, his tasks and responsibilities include as follows: Creating and sustaining a dialogue with military forces, establishing information exchange; Maintaining appropriate relationship between humanitarian and military actors; Assisting in negotiations in critical areas of humanitarian-military interaction. The key expected outcome is the facilitation of access of humanitarian organizations to the conflict- affected population. OCHA introduced the Cash Coordination Officer from its main office in Kiev, currently on mission in the region. She informed the meeting of the tasks carried out by OCHA with regard to the interagency cash coordination efforts and about close cooperation between UN, international organizations, NGOs, which are involved in the implementation of all possible cash modalities. An announcement was made of the forthcoming cash training in September in Kiev for all interested partners. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org German Red Cross (GRC) has been assisting the Red Cross Ukraine since the beginning of the current crisis. Today, the GRC begins a new project, which is fully IDP-oriented, with funding made available by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The new project targets 6,000 IDPs in Kharkivska oblast and envisages the distribution of 41,000 food vouchers and e-cards through ROST supermarkets. The distribution point was opened on 19 August for eight categories of beneficiaries, including disabled persons, single parents, foster families, big families, persons of 70 plus, and pregnant women. The total amount of cash per person is 3,500 UAH ($157.4). IDPs will be receiving it during seven months – 500 UAH ($22.5) per month. Distribution will be made with through the Red Cross (Kharkiv) and its volunteers. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) will formally open its office in Kharkiv on 3 September. Its first project in the region will be focused on the provision of legal assistance to IDPs, which will be provided through the Legal Assistance Center. Other project components include establishing of hotlines for IDPs and creation of mobile teams of lawyers. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched its new project, which will be implemented in Kharkivska, Dnipropetrovska, Zaporizhska, Donetska (GCA & NGCA), and Luhanska (GCA only) regions. The project is aimed at strengthening of humanitarian response to the needs of girls and women, including gender violence and other related issues. The project envisages the creation of special services and rapid response, with a special focus on IDPs and affected population. In particular, the project will be aimed at the following (the list is not exhaustive): Establish the inter-sector coordination; Integration of stationary operation procedures with the participation of education, health care, social protection sectors, distribution of ‘rape kits’; Creation of the statistics database; Training of PSS providers, law enforcement personnel; establishing hotlines and referral mechanisms; Medical assistance to victims of gender violence. The key envisaged results include: (i) establishing standards for intervention; (ii) ratification of the Istanbul Convention and roadmap. In September, UNFPA will open a few field offices, including one in Kramatorsk. OHCHR expressed its concerns with regard to the following issues: Unlawful mobilization – people are captured in the streets and public transport and are escorted to military commissariats, often even without medical examinations. This picture can be observed in at least in Kharkiv, Sumy and Poltava, despite the high-level promises to avoid coercive actions. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org This is the sixth ‘mobilization wave’, which is aimed at replacing those drafted during the third wave. However, the plan was implemented only by 50 percent. The most vulnerable in this situation are IDPs who have no money ‘to buy themselves out’. Another issue raised by OHCHR relates to child summer camps in Mariupol area where 7-8 years old children are undergoing a military training in the use of firearms, etc. The training is provided by “Azov” battalion, with the approval of child’s parents and sometimes even for a fee. During the follow up discussions, participants including OCHA, UNFPA, WHO, and others brought up several issues of concern: family violence has been reported in module sites caused by alcohol abuse, resulting in deprivation of parental rights. UNHCR: signed a cooperation agreement with NGO “Station Kharkiv”. The project envisages opening of IDP assistance centers in the region; cash assistance to IDPs. WHO reported on cases of oncological diseases and injectable drug abuse among IDPs. Current activities include: creation of a single project database (ready by 80%); increasing the number of mobile teams in the region. UNICEF reported on receiving alerts with regard to IDP child abuse. Update on activities includes: assistance to ‘Clowns without Borders’ performance in Kharkiv on 25 August; WASH kits received for distribution for children and adults. UNDP Early Recovery Project is currently finalizing the NGO tender on the provision of legal and PSS assistance to IDPs. Yet another project component is focused on IDP training in the development of business plans to be followed by allocation of grant money for the development of private business – up to $10,000, depending on the proposal. It is important to note that the Project coordinates its activities with the similar project of IOM in order to avoid duplication. Other news include: (i) enrolment of Case Managers - until 28 August; and (ii) invitation of IDPs to participate in IT training. UNDP CBA Project: The geriatric boarding house in Khoroshevo is receiving IDPs with limited capacities; 35 IDPs with psychologic diseases admitted in the boarding house in Chervonny Oskol. Upon completion of the current repair efforts, the boarding house will be able to admit 50 more persons. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org UNDP is requesting partners to refer IDPs with special needs / elderly to the newly renovated boarding houses. Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) is implementing Phase 3 of its current project, namely, assisting 500 families with three or more children. It is envisaged that this work will be expanded and will include not only distribution but also psychosocial assistance (PSS) and reconstruction of facilities. HIA is asking participants to share good ideas. PCPM continues its (i) cash-for-rent project, (ii) distribution of humanitarian aid to IDPs, and (iii) provision of psychosocial assistance to IDPs. Right to Protection (R2P) announced the launch of its new project implemented in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), with the participation of the “Kharkiv Human Rights Group”. The project will be implemented in rural areas, including the most remote locations. The R2P part in the project relates to monitoring and advocacy efforts. Other project components include community protection initiatives as well as individual protection of IDPs, not excluding financial aid. The meeting was attended by Director of the Department of Competitive Performance of Kharkivska Oblast State Administration, whose responsibilities include, among other, coordination of both technical and humanitarian assistance efforts implemented by national and international partners. The Department is ready to share its project database, which is updated on its website on a weekly basis. All requests and suggestions of the international community and its national counterparts, which relate to ongoing or proposed technical and humanitarian assistance can also be published at the Department website - http://www.compet.kh.gov.ua/rus/- Additionally, the Department can offer its venue and other resources for the organization of different types of events. A request followed for an improved information exchange, including, among other, sharing information on various organizations’ missions and mandates, areas of activities, etc. In particular, a suggestion was made to arrange for a round table for the department officials with the participation of key international partners and donor agencies operating in the region. The next general coordination meeting is tentatively scheduled for 25 September. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org OCHA will consider arrangement of the requested round table for civil service focusing on ‘who is doing what in humanitarian sphere.