Temporary shelters are a safe place for people fleeing enemy bombs and trying to live on

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Inna Gavrylova and Iryna Solovei - Alliance for Public Health
  • Destroyed houses.
    Destroyed houses. Source: Pixabay.

Currently, the Alliance for Public Health coordinates twenty-five shelters throughout Ukraine and opened its own shelter called Safe Place.

We talked with representatives of the ICF "Alliance for Public Health" - an organization that changed its activities from the first days of the war and, now, has many initiatives aimed at multi-faceted assistance to Ukrainians, from public health programs to humanitarian aid. 

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, there is an acute issue with the place of temporary residence for people who have lost their homes. According to Situation Reports – OCHA, about 11.2 million people in Ukraine need emergency support with housing and basic necessities.

According to preliminary estimates of analysts, on which the Ministry of Development of Communities and Territories relies, more than 2.4 million Ukrainians lived in destroyed or significantly damaged housing as of the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2022.

According to the Center for Combating Disinformation under the NSDC, by 6th month of this war, more than 3.5 million people lost their own homes. Especially the situation worsened with the cold weather and the beginning of active shelling of the energy system, respectively, and the need for a temporary residence is becoming more urgent.

Currently, the Alliance for Public Health coordinates twenty-five shelters throughout Ukraine and opened its own shelter, "Safe Place" in the city of Lviv in January. The shelter functions in a hostel format with all amenities. The institution employs only IDPs – people who, like no other, understand how to support, and providing peer-to-peer services.

Accommodation and meals are free of charge, 21 people can be accommodated in the shelter at the same time. It will work as an information hub, providing legal, psychological, and social work and, if necessary, ad hoc medical consultations for key communities vulnerable to HIV, with the involvement of the online platform

The shelter has already accommodated the first settlers

There are already several families living in the shelter. Iana and her daughter Daria at the beginning of a full-scale invasion, went to Poland. Then they returned home to Zaporizhzhia. But the front line was very close to their home, the shelling intensified and they were again forced to leave the house, fearing for their own lives.

“When rockets fly from Tokmak, we can feel it very well. Thank goodness my house still exists. But it is very scary,” said Iana Pavlovska from Zaporizhzhia.

The shelter has high-speed Internet, which allows it to continue to work remotely. She is a history teacher, teaching online lessons for her students right from the shelter.

According to official data, the Russian troops attacked civilian targets 60 times more often than the military. The infrastructure of frontline cities suffers the most from shelling.

In 2023, the Alliance for Public Health plans to open similar shelters in other cities in Ukraine.

Innovative service HELP NOW HUB started working from the very first days of the war

For Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons, who are representatives of key groups, during the first week of the war, a unique assistance service called "HelpNow" was created, which began its work on March 1, 2022.

“In the crisis situation in which Ukrainians have been living since February, the role of broad cooperation and support of friendly countries is incredibly important. And Ukrainians felt the value of such relations in the first weeks of a large-scale war, having received considerable support from the whole world,” said Dr. Sergii Filippovych, director of #SoS_project 2.0 at the Alliance for Public Health.

"Finding ourselves in a situation of a military crisis, we immediately joined the solution of issues of assisting representatives of key groups of the population, primarily in terms of receiving treatment and preventive services. With the support of the Global Fund, we have allocated part of the funds for creating and developing a special Emergency Response program called #HelpNowHub, for supporting Ukrainian patients who found themselves abroad due to the war. "

The support and assistance provided by the service include access to information resources, referrals, and connection, depending on the needs, to the relevant services related to the provision of appropriate treatment (ART– Antiretroviral treatment, OST– Opioid substitution treatment, tuberculosis drugs, etc.) and social services: psychological, legal support and humanitarian assistance.

Thanks to the online platform, people can get services concerning treatment, as well as consultations with specialists in Poland, Moldova, Germany and Estonia, including online consultations with doctors.

Currently, support has been provided for treatment and/or other critical services for almost 20,000 appeals from Ukrainians from 47 countries

You can read more about the platform's work on reading stories to people who received help at:

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