On 24 February 2022, Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory, sparking a war in the East of Europe – unprecedented since World War 2.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) responded swiftly to the war in Ukraine with humanitarian aid: Sending relief supplies, deploying Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) specialists and providing financial support to humanitarian organisations.
The initial phase of emergency delivery of humanitarian was planned almost from the beginning to be complemented by a longer term humanitarian program aiming at covering critical needs in Protection, Health and WASH. The overall objective of this mission between April and May 2022 was to establish the basis for a medium-term WASH programming in and around Ukraine. Work included traveling to affected regions in the east of Ukraine, in particular Chernihiv and Sumy regions in order to assess needs and identify potential partners and staff, help put a humanitarian infrastructure in place in close coordination with the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine, the geo desk and the WASH unit in Bern.
Assessment of needs in WASH, established new contacts as well as programming for the next couple of years, is now the base to mitigate damages in existing infrastructure and to increase resilience of Water and Sanitation systems in Eastern Ukraine.