Nexus and reconstruction strategyPublished: Jul 24, 2023 Reading time: 8 minutes
PIN’s global mandate is that, in protracted crises, conflicts and natural disasters, it seeks to provide timely and relevant humanitarian assistance, with the aim of saving lives, mitigating suffering and maintaining the dignity of the most underserved of the affected people. As early as possible the organization supports affected people in their recovery process, taking consideration of the longer-term perspective and impact, sustainability of our interventions and avoiding creating dependency on aid.
From 2014 till the conflict escalation in February 2022, PIN was already providing immediate assistance and early recovery support to the most vulnerable population in hard-to-reach locations, including in the Non-Government Controlled Areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and close to the Line of Contact, addressing their immediate and longer-term needs related to WASH, shelter, protection and livelihood. PIN also supported the active engagement of the civil society in national, regional and local platforms to ensure the Government services were reflecting the needs of the communities, particularly those of the most marginalized, including women, elderly and people with disabilities, and to contribute to change at the local level. In addition, it provided not only food security assistance but also livelihood programming and planning for durable solutions using area-based approaches which considered immediate and longer-term initiatives.
Since the very onset of the full escalation in February 2022, PIN scaled up its programming in all the regions across Ukraine. While providing a response to people’s needs today, PIN and its partners look at how to prepare tomorrow and sustain the future.
PIN implements its humanitarian response and preparedness interventions while, at the same time, contributing to the reinforcement of the system at national, regional and local level. It supports locally-led emergency response from its network of 200+ partners providing cash-based programming, WASH, NFI, shelter and protection. It supports collective advocacy aimed at protecting the rights of the conflict-affected people and promoting efficient long-term solutions for them.
Through early recovery assistance, PIN rehabilitates key social infrastructures while supporting the existing structures in their provision of quality services people need today, and on their reinforcement for tomorrow. PIN will provide multisectoral individual-level and community-based support, especially in those communities that report higher rates of displacement, through protection, education, shelter and housing solutions, WASH and access to quality basic services.
As part of its nexus and reconstruction strategy, PIN will ensure that its work is embedded into durable solutions and reconstruction agenda, and that the integration of IDPs, supported by a good governance, strong civic engagement and access to protection and assistance, is reinforcing the social inclusion and cohesion at community level.
To know more about People in Need nexus approach, please have a look at our story below.
Oleksandr and Mariia were initially living in Sloviansk with their 2 children Dima, 8 and Liudmyla, 16. Oleksandr’s mother, Svitlana, was living in a village nearby. She was already receiving PIN’s assistance before through livelihood seeds and materials as her village was affected by the fighting in the area back in 2014, when the armed conflict just started in Ukraine. Oleksandr and Mariia were cultivating their land. Liudmyla was part of the community youth projects supported by PIN before the full-scale invasion, and she and Dima were going to school like any other kids. Mariia was calling PIN’s PSS hotline sometimes as the daily life was not easy, and she needed some support. She tried to convince Oleksandr to call, as he also needed it, but he never agreed to do so.
When the full-scale war started, Oleksandr and Mariia decided to rapidly leave Sloviansk and to take their children to a safer place in Central Ukraine, so they went to Vinnytsia.
“We know how it feels during shelling and fighting from our experience in 2014, when it started in Sloviansk. And we didn’t want our children to go through this, we immediately decided to take them out of Sloviansk and went to Vinnytsia as we had our friends there”, shares Mariia.
There, Dima and Liudmyla benefited directly from PIN’s assistance in terms of education and protection. They went to a Child-Friendly Space (CFS) where they could participate in some psychosocial and recreational activities and maintain their learning through distance education thanks to the IT equipment the center received from PIN. Some of their girlfriends were referred to specialized services as they were victims of violence. They and their teachers participated in some activities where they could improve their psychosocial well-being. Their teachers told them they wished to continue receiving such training, even when the war stops, as they feel better equipped to support the children and themselves.
Oleksandr’s mother, Svitlana, 82, decided to remain in her village. Her house was attacked, though, and she needed some medium repairs that PIN’s team performed. She heard that there are some hygiene and food kits distributions, but she is too old to go alone and to carry on everything. For cash distribution, she does not know how to register to it, and she did not find someone who can help her. This is becoming very critical as she cannot get her pension from the bank. She received information and support from PIN in terms of cash but also food and hygiene items. The authorities in her village have been through several wars. But many of them shared that they already think about the future even if the current situation remains volatile and unsecured and that there are many new knowledge and skills related to their recovery planning, they will be happy to receive from PIN to protect their communities but also to fulfill their rights and to provide them with the quality services they need.
Dima is happy with the activities he is taking part in at the CFSs. However, for Liudmyla, this is different, as she is a teenager, and she feels there is still a need for activities more tailored to her age. Although they do not know how the future will look like, Dima, Liudmyla and their friends want their voices to be heard for constructing their future and be actors of change. They have a culture and a heritage to promote, and they want to seize all opportunities to learn and share with others and build a sustainable, healthy and protective environment for the new generations. Having a healthy environment is their right, and they do not want to let it go, even during the war! They hope that their schools will be a place where they feel safe, where they can build their knowledge and learn on their curriculum, but also where they can build new skills and practices. The youth also hope that they could be actively involved in programs supporting people to be equal regardless of their gender or disability, to have a harmonious coexistence, and to have access to all the services they need. They are full of ideas!
Oleksandr and Mariia have a flat where to live in Vinnytsia with their family, and they are grateful for it, but they do not feel at home there. They always think of their city Sloviansk and how it could be reconstructed in a different way, with new policies supporting the access to affordable or social housing everywhere, but not only. They think that it would be essential to expand the infrastructure for the provision of social services and social assistance, that there are some programs and public places supporting the social integration of various social groups. When they discuss with other people who have been displaced from various regions of Ukraine, with some who came back from abroad, some of them feel that they are not welcomed but that they are expected to return to their place as soon as possible. In any case, they all feel the same: local problems need local solutions, and they all want to be part of the recovery processes to overcome the consequences of the war and the challenges it caused.
Olexandr and Mariia have benefited so far from multi-purpose cash assistance, but they know already that in complement, they will have to learn a new job as they will not be able to explode their farm due to the contaminated land. They hope that their friends and relatives who are in the Government and non-Government controlled areas will also receive the support they need immediately today, but that organizations will not forget to think with them how to be reintegrated on the long term.
Finally, Mariia volunteered for a national organization, providing help in her area. She is very proud of that work and hopes that the equitable partnership she started to see with some international NGOs will remain and that they will be able to work hand in hand for the same goal.
In conclusion, this represents just an example of people’s Life, where are mixed the necessity to cope with immediate challenges and needs, while step by step, when they are ready, to start with new actions that help them to move confidently towards a promising tomorrow and to adapt to the situation, even if the situation remains very volatile today. They know their rhythm is not especially the one of their neighbours or friends in other parts of the region or the country, especially for the ones living under daily heavy shelling and close to the frontline. It all depends on the context. However, what is similar is that they want the country they live in to seize this as an opportunity for transformation and reconstruction when the time comes.