Assistance to displaced persons falls mainly on the local authorities, which have absolutely no resources for this

Ukraine is experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. One of its manifestations is the forced displacement of millions of our fellow citizens from their permanent place of residence.

Some of them, fleeing the war, left the country and became refugees, some, having moved from the war zone to relatively safe regions, became displaced persons.  From the point of view of an ordinary person, the difference is small.  Immigrants are often called refugees.  But it is not so.  If Ukraine can fully deal with the problem of returning refugees only after victory, the refugees need help here and now.  It's just that the burden in this matter falls mainly on the local authorities, which have almost no authority and absolutely no resources for this.

International experts on the issues of refugees and displaced persons recommend that the local authorities must be involved in solving their urgent issues, although they note that there is no single winning strategy for municipalities.  In addition, it is necessary to act under conditions of a severe shortage of resources.

Provision of basic needs: housing is priority

A roof over one's head is one of the main needs of displaced people.  And at the same time, it is the most difficult to provide.  None of the funds for social housing and other infrastructure (social assistance centers, sanatoriums, recreation centers, hotels) will be enough to meet the demand for housing under current conditions.  At the same time, even those who could rent an apartment often find themselves in situations where they are simply refused to rent the apartment.  Now the picture is not better.

Let's not dwell on the causes of this phenomenon.  The consequences are significant: a shortage of habitable real estate in conditions where thousands of people and families need to be resettled.

One of the options is the construction of temporary social housing.  But the question arises, where to get the funds, when the revenues to the budget have halved?

The answer is that it is necessary to expand cooperation with international organizations as much as possible.

From their recommendations on the problems of refugees and displaced persons, municipalities can draw two main conclusions.

The first is that international organizations are ready to support a wide range of initiatives if they are carefully developed and presented in the form of a specific project with a description of the problem, a roadmap for its solution, expected tactical and strategic effects, and a budget.

The second is that international organizations have large resources and are ready to spend them, but they will prefer solutions that have a sustainable effect.

Therefore, in this aspect, the projects that offer the placement of modular towns, with the aim of housing Ukrainian citizens who have been left without housing, are very logically combined.  Such organizations, as a rule, have well-established international communications, and local authorities have the resources to host these towns and provide services.

Text: Oleksandr Avdeev, Inesa Osovska

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