Ukraine Crisis

Enabling the Local Response : Emerging Humanitarian Priorities in Ukraine March - May 2022

Date of publication: June 2022

Humanitarian Outcomes conducted a rapid review of the humanitarian response in the initial stages of the crisis in Ukraine. Through interviews with national and international humanitarian aid groups and donor governments, the report produced a snapshot of the first three months of the crisis and emerging humanitarian challenges. It identified urgent areas for action on how the global humanitarian system can better complement and support the humanitarian response, which the Ukrainian civil society is leading.


Humanitarian Outcomes

Recommendations / learning

Flexibility is needed in due diligence requirements appropriate to working in an acute emergency situation, as are processes for disbursing funds without the need for proposals or burdensome assessments - three months after the onset of the crisis, most of the money donated to the Ukraine response remained with international organisations, which were constrained from disbursing funds by strict compliance requirements that were insufficiently flexible and too onerous for smaller local organisations or volunteer groups to meet.

Cash programming needs to be scaled up and coordinated, and complementary to government support - cash programming has been the primary emphasis of the response, but various actors have been unable to align their objectives and criteria; as a result, multiple cash disbursement mechanisms were established, all with different registration processes and targeting criteria.

Implementing safety and security training to support frontline volunteer organisations, and providing them with protective equipment, should be prioritised - international agencies lack incentives to operate in areas of greatest need due to high security and financial risks; the least resourced aid providers (volunteer groups) on the front line of aid delivery assume the greatest security risks.

Maintaining a neutral stance is challenging in such a highly politicised environment - principled ways of reaching civilians in areas under Russian control are required.


Enabling the Local Response: Emerging Humanitarian Priorities in Ukraine March - May 2022