The HOUSES (Home Owners of Ukraine for Sustainable Energy Efficiency Solutions) project is reportedly serving as a network for the communication of urgent COVID-19 information.
The project, launched in October 2018, was initially designed under the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) to reduce the energy costs of Ukrainians, improve their livelihoods as well as lower the carbon footprint of the country. It has been assisting several Ukrainians in 24 oblasts, which are administrative regions, by helping them manage the associations of homeowners, develop energy efficiency projects, and apply for subsidies under the Energy Efficiency Fund in Ukraine. The HOUSES program is supported by 4 million euros in EU funding and will continue through September 2020.
UNDP has produced over 100,000 posters of detailed information related to the pandemic, including ways to protect families and avoid potential virus contamination. These posters are developed by piggybacking on the network of 24 coordinators of HOUSES, nearly 4,000 associations of homeowners, 344 local authorities, and working with the WHO. Additionally, several homeowners’ associations have introduced creative ways of sanitizing footwear and buildings, supporting the elderly, as well as sewing suits and masks for healthcare professionals and vulnerable citizens. For instance, a community made 76 suits and 1,300 masks in a month.
The WHO has recently reported 15,648 positive cases of coronavirus, including 408 deaths, in Ukraine. In eastern Ukraine, there were 142 positive cases in the Government-Controlled Areas (GCAs) & 416 in the Non-Government-Controlled Areas (NGCAs). UNDP reported a relatively low fatality rate for a larger country in Europe.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reportedly stated that the closure of contact lines between these two areas has an impact on the elderly people who are living in NGCAs. They are unable to access pensions, services, & other social benefits provided in the GCAs. There were nearly 325 humanitarian exemptions made, however, with OCHA stating that these humanitarian agencies remain operational on both areas of the contact line, and target 2 million people having existing stockpiles.