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A shelter for victims of gender-based violence has opened in the Manhush community of the Mariupol district. This is the fourth shelter of this type in the Donetsk region so far. The shelter was opened as part of a project implemented by the Mariupol Youth Union in partnership with the Manhush Village Council under the United Nations Programme for Reconstruction and Peacebuilding with financial support from the governments of Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden and financial assistance of the UK government as part of the joint project with the United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine. 

We hope that the new shelter will become a space of protection and professional assistance for victims of domestic violence not only for one community but also for the whole Mariupol district and, in the future, neighbouring communities in other districts, because this year, the Donetsk region became the first region in Ukraine where the mechanism for purchasing shelter services between communities (of the Pokrovskyi district) was piloted. Subject to the relevant agreements, the Sartan, Kalchytsia and Nikolska communities today have real tools to redirect victims from their communities to a new shelter in the Azov region to provide them with a safe place to live and a range of quality specialised services. 

It is also extremely important now to coordinate the efforts of local actors in the field of prevention and counteraction to domestic violence, as well as partner and public organisations to inform residents of local communities about the availability of specialised services such as the shelter where survivors of domestic violence can get quality and comprehensive assistance.

“The opening of the shelter is part of the protection and support of survivors of domestic violence and gender-based violence. It proves that joint actions of international organisations and local authorities can build a system of equal access to important social services for the population. It is very important that the services of this shelter can be also used by other nearby communities on a fee basis under inter-municipal agreements,” said Yuliia Kostiunina, Deputy Head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration.

The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is implemented by four UN agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

The programme is supported by twelve international partners: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the US Embassy in Ukraine, as well as the governments of Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan.