16 May 2019

Trends and Trajectories along the Line of Contact in Ukraine

About the topic

In Donbass, Eastern Ukraine, the conflict between Ukrainian separatist forces and the Ukrainian Army started five years ago. The two opposing forces are fighting along the 450-kilometres long Line of Contact (LoC) with key hotspots located near the cities of Mariupol, Donetsk, Horlivka, and Pervomaisk. The so-called Line of Contact is a line of demarcation between the government and non-government controlled areas. Even though the LoC can be crossed, this artificial line has separated the most densely populated region of Ukraine. As a consequence, the population living along this particular territory is facing diverse humanitarian needs related to, among others, access to food, education, and health. Learn more about the situation along the Line of Contact on REACH’s website.

This Think Tank Talk was co-organized by The Think Tank Hub Geneva and IMPACT Initiatives, one of the founding organisations behind REACH. The aim of the briefing was to get an insight into the humanitarian situation in Ukraine along the Line of Contact from a think tank perspective.

During these two hours briefing given by REACH country coordinator for Ukraine, Jeremy Wetterwald, the humanitarian context and challenges faced by the humanitarian actors along the LoC were discussed, such as the difficulty to collect data and information in a crisis context, the reorganization of public services and the urban disconnect issue created by the constrained access to urban centres in non-government controlled areas for population living in territory controlled by Ukraine. This disconnect created by the Line of Contact has had direct consequences on employment, education and health. After Wetterwald’s presentation, an open Question and Answer session generated great discussions and highly interesting inputs.

About the speaker

Jeremy Wetterwald is the Country Coordinator for IMPACT Initiatives in Ukraine. He has been managing the work of REACH since September 2016 and has worked on humanitarian assessment and information management in support of response actors. In Ukraine, he has overseen the implementation of more than 13 comprehensive studies covering both, humanitarian and development issues in Donetsk and Luhansk. His current academic research focuses on the use of network analysis for understanding urban systems in crisis, a project which was piloted in Ukraine. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations.

About the co-organizer

The humanitarian data initiative REACH is a joint endeavour of IMPACT Initiatives, the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme and the French development organisation ACTED.

REACH uses primary data collection and in-depth analysis as tools to enhance the capacity of aid actors to make evidence-based decisions in emergency, recovery, and development settings.