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Today, UNFPA, together with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine held a press conference, "The needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups in the conflict"

April 7, 2016 - Most people affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine – are older people, women and children. In particular, because of psychological stress and economic hardship the level of violence in families and communities increases, leaving many women who are the most frequent survivors of gender based violence to suffer. According to the UNFPA study, 22% of women in Ukraine have experienced or continue to suffer from physical or sexual violence, while 2/3 of them have never sought assistance.

 "Gender-based violence is a very serious problem that often remains hidden. During the conflict and population displacement increased level of stress and difficulty results in the growth of this shameful practice"- noted Mr. Caspar Peek, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine.

Ms. Ekaterine Kristesashvili, GBV sub-cluster coordinator, added "GBV is under-reported in any context. Actors seeking to address GBV are expected not to wait for reliable data prior to taking action. The key priority in any context is to ensure that quality services are in place and information on their availability is widespread".

Along with the increasing level of violence, special needs of women - in protection, access to health care are often ignored in the difficult circumstances of the conflict. Moreover, the forced displacement makes the risk of violence and the problem of access to health services even more acute.

In response to the growing needs of women and vulnerable groups, UNFPA together with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine realizes humanitarian project "Strengthening humanitarian response to the need of most vulnerable women and female adolescents affected by armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine through multi-sectorial prevention and response to GBV and access to SRH services" in five eastern regions the most affected by the conflict.

Mr. Serhiy Ustymenko, Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, thanked UNFPA for the cooperation and stressed "During the conflict communities face many hardships, thus, the issue of gender-based violence often falls out of priorities of local authorities, but this problem is very important and we need to ensure that people who suffer from it, receive appropriate assistance."

The project includes a complex of actions that support society and the authorities to give effective response to the increase of violence against women and help ensure women's access to health services. So, medical institutions in eastern oblasts received 38,000 gynecological kits, 355 reproductive health and 2 incubators for premature newborns. First psychosocial assistance to violence survivors is provided by 21 mobile teams, composed of professional psychologists and social workers. As of April 2016, the mobile teams received more than 4 thousand requests for assistance.

Ms. Iryna Semenko, Deputy Executive Director of the International Charitable Foundation "Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health", noted "Operation of mobile teams that is one of many components of the humanitarian projects aiming at combatting gender-based violence, makes psychosocial first aid available to people in small towns and villages. The fact that over 5 months of operation the mobile teams conducted more than a thousand work trips, shows a significant need for such services. "


UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

UNFPA has worked in Ukraine since 1997. We focus on reproductive health and rights, population and development and gender equality. UNFPA is actively contributingto the UN response to the humanitarian situation.


For more information please contact

Kateryna Kononiuk-Mandziuk, UNFPA in Ukraine, (044) 253-00-53,