10:37 11.03.2024

Together with Ministry of Social Policy and the Pension Fund of Ukraine, UNHCR ensures extra cash support to vulnerable pensioners during the cold winter months

3 min read
Together with Ministry of Social Policy and the Pension Fund of Ukraine, UNHCR ensures extra cash support to vulnerable pensioners during the cold winter months

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has so far provided close to 23 million USD in direct cash support to Ukrainian pensioners in order for them to buy solid household fuel to keep homes warm during the winter season.

According to UN estimates, older people represent almost a quarter of the people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. ©UNHCR

Kyiv, 11 March, 2024: During the winter season 2023-, UNHCR has so far provided direct cash support to more than 127,000 vulnerable pensioners to help them purchase household fuel during the harsh winter months. This assistance is delivered in support of the Ministry of Social Policy and the Pension Fund of Ukraine under the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1173 from 7 November 2023.

The cash support of 6,660 UAH per person has been provided via bank transfers, directly to the bank accounts of the recipients.

This additional winter assistance was agreed between the Ministry of Social Policy, the Pension Fund of Ukraine and UNHCR in November 2023 as a way to maximize our joint efforts to provide much needed support to vulnerable pensioners during the cold winter months – a clear priority for the Government of Ukraine.

UNHCR will continue this support until the end of the heating season and provide cash assistance totaling more than 25 million USD.

The pensioners, who have so far received this additional winter cash, are residing across Ukraine, with the majority living in Odesa, Vinnytsia and Kirovohrad regions.

“Following Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, UNHCR in Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Social Policy to ensure close cooperation with the Ministry towards our common goal of supporting and assisting the most vulnerable in the population to cope with the multiple consequences of the war. I am very pleased that we have continued our close collaboration with the Ministry and been able to support vulnerable pensioners with additional cash assistance during these winter months, when the impact of the devastating war is felt even more,” says Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR’s Representative in Ukraine

“Thanks to the support of UNHCR, we were able to help thousands of Ukrainians keep warm in their homes this winter, as well as significantly increase this assistance. Families who use firewood or coal for heating in their homes and are unable to do it on their own have been supported during this winter season of 2023-2024. Such assistance is extremely important and helps to reduce the impact of war on those who are most vulnerable. We are grateful to UNHCR for the partnership and the opportunity to work together to improve the lives of those who need it most,” says Oksana Zholnovych, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine.

In Ukraine, UNHCR is operating its largest and most advanced cash assistance programme globally, including a range of different cash modalities. The most comprehensive is multipurpose cash provided to war-affected people based on a set of criteria, which allows people to prioritize themselves which needs to address such as food, medicine, hygiene items, utilities, rent payments, and at the same time support the local economy. In 2022, UNHCR supported around in cash support since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

UNHCR is able to provide cash assistance to people in need in Ukraine thanks to the generous support from government and private donors, including the United States of America, the European Union and Japan as the three largest donors to UNHCR’s Ukraine response.

Media contact:

Iryna Tymchyshyn, tel +38 050 474 35 12, [email protected]

Elisabeth Haslund, tel +380 95 239 0072, [email protected]