Ukraine continues to suffer from the destruction wrought by the occupation and targeting of civilian and industrial infrastructure by Russian aggression. In order to recover these communities need a hand up and not just hand-outs.
Support to Ukrainian Recovery Initiative is focused on working with communities who have been devastated by the current phase of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
These communities need urgent assistance that provides stability and recovery opportunities for the population that has remained as well as those returning as well as provide needs assessments from communities on their actual needs.
Our objectives are: stabilization, recovery and resilience for communities most impacted by the war.
The methodologies of our operations are based on the experience gathered in the first eight years of the conflict in the Donbas region. By critically examining what has and hasn’t worked there, more effective action can be taken to help where and how assistance is needed now
Key approaches include:
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on February 24th,2022 brought misery and destruction to the northern, eastern and southern regions of the country. One area that has been particularly hard hit has been the region around Ukraine’s 2nd largest city Kharkiv. The closeness of Kharkiv to the Russian border (around 25km) ensured that it would be struck quickly and hard in the current phase of the conflict. The village of Mala Rohan was occupied on March 3rd and liberated by Ukrainian forces on March 25th. The occupation and battles fought there, left the community deeply impacted and in need of assistance in order to recover their livelihoods. The Support to Ukrainian Recovery Initiative a registered international NGO visited in late May and again late July to see what were the needs and how best to help the community on the path to recovery.
One of the drivers of the Mala Rohan economy was the dairy industry and the main producer the Mala Rohan Dairy Plant (Молочный завод Мала Рогань) was a major employer for the region. During its normal operation it directly employed 100 staff and indirectly supported five other dairy producers each with 8 – 10 employees plus farming families. In addition, its milk products had a chain of retailers who were dependent on its production with a total 300 indirect employed people in a community of ca. 2,500.
Following the liberation of the town, the dairy plant was indiscriminately shelled by Russian forces destroying the production and administration buildings along with the laboratory. The storage tanks and refrigeration units were disabled when the plant lost electricity in late February and in addition to production, a significant loss occurred of stored milk and products. There are still dairy farms in operation in the surrounding community to supply the plant although many cows have been lost during to the course of the active fighting.
Currently, dairy farms in the area are providing unpasteurized milk to the army, community members and small stores at a fraction of the actual value. At the moment, Mala Rohan has almost no one employed outside of local and other government officials and the impact is being felt daily amongst the population. People are surviving on humanitarian assistance which comes irregularly and not in sufficient quantities. Overwhelmingly the community members met wanted one thing – to be able to provide for themselves especially as a hard winter is coming.
In order to help Mala Rohan recover, at least economically, it is key to re-establish the milk processing at the dairy factory. A complete breakdown of costs can be available. The urgent need now is procure the equipment in neighboring countries with Poland or Slovakia being closest and transported to the site so that assembly can start. Some piping and other infrastructure has been rescued and can be utilized. Any amount of assistance that can be provided can be matched by other donor agencies/organizations working in Ukraine.