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Ukraine: Empowering food security — DRC’s initiative in Ukraine's agricultural heartlands

With funding from USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, DRC provides thousands of small farmers in central and southern Ukraine with the necessary inputs to continue and expand their agricultural activities.

©DRC Ukraine

Posted on 31 May 2024

The project primarily focuses on increasing the economic resilience of conflict-affected population. One of the main project objectives is to increase food security through the provision of cash for small farmers. The Danish Refugee Council Economic Recovery team started the distribution of assistance in time for the agricultural season, maximising the agricultural production and output, which in part increases food security and economic resilience for the households in the targeted oblasts.  

“Such assistance is aimed at enabling people to buy seeds and plant vegetables for the new season, as well as to buy animals. So that they can continue to grow crops and livestock next season and feed themselves and their families. Of course, it would be good if it helps them sell the surplus, but this is not the focus for us under this intervention. We are aiming to increase the food security of conflict-affected population,” explains Alina Bondarenko, Economic Recovery Team Leader at DRC.

In total, over 7,000 households in Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipro, and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts are receiving assistance from DRC team. First and foremost, the funds will be given to people from vulnerable categories of the population, including the elderly, people with disabilities, mothers with newborns, etc.

The impact of the war on the community is also considered. For example, among the communities DRC supports in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is Apostolivska hromada. After the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, local residents suffer from a lack of drinking water.

“High cost of eggs made them unaffordable for my family”

/  Oksana

“We used to have water delivered by tankers and somehow managed to cope. After the destruction of Kakhovka dam, this delivery stopped. To somehow solve the problem, the borehole was drilled, but we can only collect drinking water in 5-litre containers. I go almost every day and take three bottles. But it's very heavy and I can't carry more. We use water from old wells for household needs and animals, and some people take it directly from the river," says Oksana*, 38, from the Kamianka village, who received a grant from DRC.

She is raising two children on her own and works in the social protection service, helping the elderly. Oksana earns a minimum wage, which makes it very difficult to feed her family. That is why her 15-hectare plot of land is an important source of food. The funds from the project helped her buy 50 chickens and mixed fodder for them. She also purchased oilcake, and seeds of a special Sudanese grass—Oksana plans to sow part of the land with it to harvest it for her cow.

"If I hadn't received the grant, I would have been left without chickens—I simply wouldn't have been able to buy them. And the high cost of eggs made them unaffordable for my family at times. I hope that your aid will help solve this problem and we will spend less money on food,” says Oksana.

In addition to the direct registration and processing of applications, DRC teams also hold special information sessions in the communities where the funds are distributed. At these sessions, DRC teams inform about various opportunities that will help to spend the grant as efficiently as possible.

*Name was changed for confidentiality purposes.

United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development

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