International Support Needed to Sustain Flood Response in Ukraine’s Kherson

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IOM partners bringing aid items to rural areas in Kherson by boat. Photo: Rescue Now 2023
IOM partners bringing aid items to rural areas in Kherson by boat. Photo: Rescue Now 2023

Sustained support for communities in Ukraine’s Kherson Region remains crucial in the aftermath of the devastating destruction of Kakhovka Dam. Assisting flood-affected communities and addressing critical water shortages, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for a preliminary USD 12 million to continue its humanitarian response, support government efforts and help lay the foundation for future community-led recovery over the next six months.

“The impact of this calamity extends far beyond the immediate destruction of the dam and subsequent floods,” said António Vitorino, IOM Director General.

“The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam is yet another tragic episode in this prolonged war. People in Kherson and other areas relying on Kakhovka Reservoir will continue to face dangerous water shortages for the coming weeks, if not longer. Once the initial emergency is contained, long-term recovery assistance will be essential to rehabilitate infrastructure and revive the local economy,” he added.

As the floodwaters recede, the impact on vital services, employment opportunities, community infrastructure and housing in areas along the banks of the Dnipro River and those depending on the Kakhovka reservoir for water supply has not diminished. Thousands of homes have been flooded and over 2,700 individuals evacuated from the river’s right bank for their safety, most of whom have yet to return home, while more than 700,000 people are expected to face water shortages.

Despite proximity to the frontline, IOM and its partners are working in close coordination with local authorities to respond to urgent needs, including providing access to clean drinking water and ensuring healthcare services are well-prepared in case of disease outbreak. IOM has already dispatched over 100,000 litres of water to Kherson Region and continues to conduct water trucking, providing 20,000 litres daily.

The Organization is also aiming to support the rehabilitation and drilling of wells in areas facing water shortages, while plans are underway to help ensure wells and water supply to households in areas directly affected by the floods are flushed of contaminants as families start to return.

With homes damaged by the floods and individuals displaced, IOM has distributed 300 shelter kits and over 7,000 core relief items, which include aid packages like bedding kits. IOM has supplied household hygiene kits to more than 15,000 people in Kherson.

“I would like to recognize and sincerely thank the Governments of the United Kingdom and Japan for stepping up to disperse emergency funds to ensure that our teams in Ukraine can urgently respond to the suffering caused by the Kakhovka Dam destruction,” Vitorino acknowledged.

Both increased financial support and in-kind donations are required so that IOM can continue to address humanitarian needs like access to clean water, core relief items, livelihoods and light repairs of flooded homes. Financial needs for longer-term recovery are estimated to be considerably higher and for which in-depth assessments will be required.

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