Not Temporary Resettlers: 4 years in the Lives of IDPs in Ukraine


Anna Kyslytska, analyst at Internews Ukraine and UkraineWorld studied the current situation with IDPs in Ukraine.

Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the beginning of the war in Donbas in 2014, Ukraine has been facing the biggest forced internal migration since the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, as of March 2018, there were nearly 1.5 million internally displaced persons registered in Ukraine. Despite the continuing warfare, occupation and life-threatening circumstances, in the last two years the number of registered IDPs has been falling, with the authorities and NGOs pointing to constant and growing two-way migration. This prohibits us from having more accurate statistics regarding the number of migrants but it does provide information about the challenges they are facing.

For IDPs, housing is the first problem to arise the moment they step out of their own homes. In 2014, when the first wave of migration hit the regions that neighbor Donbas, the local authorities and society tried to solve the problem by giving temporary accommodation in hospitals, summer camps, sanatoriums, etc. The conviction about IDPs as a short-term phenomenon appeared to be dramatically wrong. Thus, some of those living in temporary housing have now been doing so for months and even years.

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