Supporting local initiatives to scale their response and address immediate needs on the ground

To help local initiatives effectively address urgent needs with sustainable solutions, creating long-lasting impact

© Bax Lindhardt

DanChurchAid Ukraine

The Issue

The war in Ukraine has resulted in extensive loss of life, devastation, displacement, and immense human suffering, affecting a minimum of 17.6 million people who require urgent humanitarian aid in 2023. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion hundreds of locally led community-based responses have worked tirelessly to support displaced or otherwise conflict-affected people within communities to respond to the overwhelming needs arising from the war. These responses include the establishment of “soup kitchens” to provide warm food; psychosocial support through psychologist networks; information and basic services to displaced families; as well as the adaptation of community spaces (churches, schools, etc.) into shelters for displaced families who have lost their homes and are unable to find somewhere to stay.

Even though these community-based initiatives have been at the forefront at the Ukraine response, they lack support, and have therefore been relying on volunteers to pool personal resources. These groups (together with local authorities) often remain the principal aid providers but are quickly being exhausted of funds and physical energy.

The Project

The project aims to help local initiatives effectively address urgent needs with sustainable solutions, creating long-lasting impact. This includes various project formats, for instance:

  • Providing elderly villagers in affected rural areas with chickens and seeds to cultivate their own food sources.
  • Establishing a workshop to repair used bicycles for distribution in frontline areas. Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for public and social workers, as well as the local population.
  • Expanding a bakery that supplies bread to residents in frontline areas while also employing individuals with mental disabilities in the baking process.
  • Delivering food, hygiene products, or medical supplies to lonely elderly according to their specific needs.
  • Supplying utility equipment for IDPs housing.

The Changes

Support through the Group Cash Transfer modality allows local initiatives to respond quickly to the emergency needs on the ground and provide assistance to the most vulnerable. Volunteer groups have direct connection to the affected population, which put them in unique position to identify the most urgent needs that haven’t been met, and procure the necessary goods on the local market. Moreover, local actors are more agile to adjust their response to the individual needs, rather than creating a “one size fits all” solution.

Many young organisations find it difficult to apply for funding from big donors due to a lack of knowledge or resources; flexible financial support such as Group Cash Transfers helps them to gain experience and grow.

The Results

10 local volunteer groups supported.

Our Work

DanChurchAid has been present in Ukraine since February 2022. DCA implement projects in collaboration with Ukrainian partner organisations to directly target the people most in need, utilising our partners’ local expertise in the areas of cash, we identify local community groups to provide with flexible small grants for survivor and community-lead response, and we support shelters for war-affected and internally displaced people to prepare for the cold Ukrainian winter.

About this project

Full title: Supporting locally led community-based initiatives to meet acute humanitarian needs in Ukraine 2023

Period: 01 March 2023 – 31 December 2023

Amount: 1,000,000 DKK

Donor: Augustinus Foundation

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