Source: AUN News
40-year-old Natalia is hiding from the near-constant air attacks in a cramped, dark cellar in Kharkiv, Ukraine. She lives in one of the most dangerous parts of the city with her kid, niece, uncle, and mother. She shares a frigid floor with scores of others and occasionally goes many days without seeing the sky.
“We were the target of pretty heavy shelling. She says that we went down to the shelter because we had nowhere to flee. She says we went down to the shelter because we had nowhere to flee. “We have witnessed many things here, including births, caring for expectant mothers, kids, and a person having a heart attack.”
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is still being attacked by the Russian Federation. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports those residing in shelters that were not intended to house people as the number of fatalities and injuries in this area rises daily.
They need more news from their family than they are from bare essentials like food and medicine. IOM solar lamps are assisting displaced Ukrainians in charging their cellphones so they may once more hear the sounds of their loved ones.
Delivering supplies to a city under siege
The infrastructure in Chernihiv, the most northern regional capital of the country, was severely damaged by heavy shelling from late February to early April, leaving 70% of the city without energy. According to local authorities, numerous civilians were killed, and about half of the city’s 300,000 residents left. People in the area are still at risk of death due to sporadic shelling.
“Living in the dark was unsettling, but the worst part was being unable to contact family members. People only sometimes used their phones, rationing the charge as a precious resource, according to Olga, an employee of the IOM partner NGO “Ukrainian Prism,” which has been distributing solar lamps and other relief to the hardest-hit districts.
When Chernihiv was still under siege, Olga recounts, “we delivered the first batch of solar lamps from IOM across the freezing Desna River on rubber boats, together with the most crucial cargo for the citizens of Chernihiv.”
An extraordinary operation
Since the start of the conflict, IOM has been supplying the impacted regions of Ukraine with much-needed supplies like beds, blankets, kitchen and hygiene sets, containers, and tools for minor repairs. During a crisis, these supplies are delivered continuously through the humanitarian supply chain, ensuring that essentials like food, shelter, blankets, and medications are available.
When the crisis started in February, IOM established a vast supply chain operation that was unparalleled in size and scope, creating a challenging cross-border process to deliver life-saving supplies to the most conflict-affected areas of Ukraine. These products have been specially designed to satisfy people’s immediate requirements and fit the setting where communities devastated by war reside.
The humanitarian foundation “Source of Revival,” a local partner of IOM, is trying to assist those still in Kharkiv and those in the region’s remote cities and villages. They frequent the shelling; they frequently travel to give humanitarian aid while wearing bulletproof vests and safety helmets.
One of the most popular goods is now solar lamps. According to Kateryna, a mother of two, “the lights are a big assistance for us — we can charge phones and use them for lighting.”
Locals eventually received humanitarian aid, assisting them in recovery, but the tragedy is still vivid in their thoughts. Kateryna remembers that “the village suffered a lot.” “Aerial attacks, tanks, shelling… The worst incidents, including the killing of civilians and acts of violence, were avoided by us.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network