17:31 07.05.2024

First multiservice space will provide “one-stop shop” support to forcibly displaced and other war-affected people in Kharkiv city

4 min read

In a newly opened multiservice space, people affected by the war can receive a range of services from UNHCR, its NGO partner Right to Protection and the city authorities to help them address essential needs and feel welcomed in Kharkiv.

7 May, Kharkiv – A new multiservice space opened today in Kharkiv city to serve as a “one-stop shop” where displaced and other war-affected people can receive a variety of essential services and support in one place. It has been created by the Ukrainian NGO Right to Protection with support from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and in cooperation with Kharkiv City Council to help war-affected people receive essential services and support as Kharkiv continues to be attacked by Russia on a nearly daily basis. The facility is located in underground premises, making it safe for people to receive services during the air alerts.

In the space “Svii” (Your Space), people will be able to receive free legal aid, psychosocial support, enroll for cash assistance provided by UNHCR, or career consultations from UNHCR’s NGO partner Right to Protection. In addition, people can here access administrative and social protection services from the city authorities. It will also host a room where trainings, group counselling and workshops can be organized to support the inclusion of displaced people and help them build new networks in their host community.

With support from UNHCR, Right to Protection has renovated the space and equipped it with furniture and appliances while the city authorities will install a ramp to make the space accessible to people with low mobility.

“It is a vital step that is taken today for people fleeing the war and suffering from the relentless attacks on Kharkiv. Now they will have the needed services in one single space, where they can go either to get support with restoring their lost documents, to receive psychosocial assistance to cope with stress and anxiety, to speak to a social worker or register for cash assistance. UNHCR is pleased that our cooperation with the Kharkiv City Council and partnership with Right to Protection have led to the creation of the space that is the first of its kind in Kharkiv,” says Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine.

“We have created a space where people can get all the help they need during one visit. This is the first such hub in Ukraine. Currently, it offers about 30 different services. The “Svоii” space is the result of the joint efforts of the city and international, national, and local organizations united by a single goal — to help those in need,” notes Oleksandra Zhurko, Programme Manager at Right to Protection.

“We regularly monitor the situation with internally displaced people. Only according to the official numbers, there are currently over 200,000 displaced in the Kharkiv city. Most of these families intend to stay here forever. Therefore, it is very important for us to create such a multiservice space, where people can receive a range of social, administrative, and psychosocial services. This will help people, both adults and children, to adjust to the new living conditions. We will continue to enhance this initiative, for example, this year, a vocational programme for displaced people will be launched enabling them to learn skills that are in need in Kharkiv,” says Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv.

Over two years since the escalation of the war, Kharkiv region remains the main area of origin of displaced people, as well as the region hosting the second-largest number of internally displaced people, who have fled the war. As the security situation has worsened along the frontline, many people have been evacuated from frontline communities, including Kupiansk district, and are seeking safety in Kharkiv.

Since the start of the Russian full-scale invasion, UNHCR and its NGO partners have continuously supported people in the Kharkiv region, reaching over 480,000 individuals with protection services, cash assistance, basic aid items, house repairs, construction materials and support in the collective sites. Across Ukraine, over 4.3 million people received assistance from UNHCR in 2022 and more than 2.6 million in 2023.

Media contact:

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

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