UNDP to scale up online support services to provide a lifeline to Ukrainian families

Posted March 11, 2022

A family seeking shelter in Kyiv underground. Photo: Oleksandr Ratushnyak / UNDP Ukraine

Originally published on UNDP global website on 11 March 2022

New York - UNDP is urgently assisting the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to provide new digital support services for Ukrainian refugees and displaced people, as well as social and humanitarian support services for those still in Ukraine.

As fighting rages across the northern, eastern, and southern parts of Ukraine, many communities remain cut off and people cannot leave their homes. At the same time millions more are on the move, displaced in Ukraine and in the surrounding countries, and are in desperate need of assistance. Building on its three decades of work in the country, UNDP, as part of the coordinated UN response, is working with government partners to rapidly scale up delivery of services online. This will allow people to access support wherever they may be, and without having to travel to official offices which may have been destroyed, or in conflict areas where their lives could be in danger.

"Travelling through Kyiv we saw residential buildings that had been just levelled, completely destroyed by the fighting", said Dafina Gercheva, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine.

Millions of people have had to leave their homes at a moment's notice, grabbing what few belongings they can find and fleeing for their lives.

“The online system is now being scaled up so that signposts people who need to register for accommodation, need help with living expenses or other critical support services. It will also help to map the movement of people out of Ukraine, so we can anticipate where assistance is most going to be needed,” she explained.

As the conflict intensifies, UNDP is also partnering with the State Emergency Services and local authorities to assess and repair damage to critical energy, communications, and other infrastructure.

"Ukraine and its people are going through a living hell and our hearts are broken by the nightmare. Ensuring families and communities can stay connected is crucial and we will work closely with the government to monitor and repair damage to communications lines and to keep vital public services running," said Gercheva.

The online provision of public services is part of an ongoing project between the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and UNDP, supported by the Government of Sweden.