Five years of the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to affect an estimated 5,2 millions of people of whom 3.5 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection.

The most vulnerable groups in need of humanitarian assistance are the elderly, single-headed households with low income, people with disabilities, and children.  Of the 3.5 million in need, 30 per cent are above the age of 60. These men and women face severe hardships when accessing essential services because they experience higher rates of disability and immobility and are often separated from their families. They are also more susceptible to abuse and neglect, have specific health and nutritional needs, and are highly prone to economic insecurity.

Thankfully enough, 89-year old Nadiya who lives in the isolated settlement of Pivdenne in war affected eastern Ukraine is well cared for by her children and grandchildren.

He house looks very neat and clean. She is sitting on a comfortable bed holding a cat in her arms. There is a dog sleeping nearby.

While Nadiya shares about her life, two of her daughters are cooking in the kitchen.

My life has been very difficult. Every time when I had those years of my life when I could be at peace, I actually spent in fear. When I was still a child,  there was the second world war. Now that Im old we have this war between Ukraine and Russia. I’m not worried about myself. My heart hurts for the children and their future. Back in 2014 and the beginning of 2015 we had to run from shelling and hide in the basement. Now that I moved back to my house, I don’t’ have strength or desire to run and hide any more. My children live in the same town but I had to come back to my home, to finish my life in my own walls. I’m almost 90 and I know that the end of my life is near. Almost all of my friends have passed away and Im the only one who survived the two wars.

And I am glad to be among those who are still alive. I want to thank all of the good people from “Ukraine Humanitarian Fund” for providing me with 2475 UAH for food! For this money, I can buy food for several months. My pension is minimal and, sometimes, I can’t afford to buy what I want. I can spend 56 hryvnias (less than $2) a day on myself. Fortunately, I have children who are helping me. I am very thankful to the Fund for providing for me this winter”.

In December, 65 most vulnerable persons with disabilities living in war-affected isolated settlements of Pivdenne and Nelipivka received cash grants (2475 UAH) for food due to support of UN “Ukraine Humanitarian Fund”.

By Anna Chaban