Most Ukrainians can’t cover their living expenses
By Sr. Nina Benedikta Krapić, VMZ
A report by the charity Depaul International, dedicated to homeless people worldwide, reveals that 88% of people surveyed in Ukraine do not have sufficient money to cover their living expenses. More than 30% share a bedroom with another family and more than 40% do not know how long they will be able to stay in their current accommodation.
Fr Vitaliy Novak, CEO of Depaul Ukraine spoke to Vatican News, on the situation in Ukraine. He warned that unemployment and difficult living conditions may increase the number of homeless and rough sleepers in Ukraine this winter.
“This report echoes what my teams and I see every day – people struggling to support themselves, unable to find employment and living in very difficult conditions”, says Fr Vitaliy.
A high percentage of respondents are Internally Displaced Pople (IDP’s), nearly half of whom have been displaced twice during the war. Many have no friends or family in their new area, making coping with the trauma even more difficult.
Ukrainians rely on humanitarian aid
With the war showing no signs of abating, Ukrainians rely on humanitarian aid, government support and savings to supplement lost or irregular income.
The team of Depaul Ukraine drastically expanded their services, at times supporting 30,000 people a day with food, hygiene services and other support. Their clients are not just homeless people anymore.
“All the resources, that people who moved from the war zone had, are getting out. So, for them it's getting more and more difficult to pay for rent and to get some income. A lot of business stopped, is relocated or destroyed completely“, said Fr. Vitaliy for Vatican News.
The charity will focus on wrap-around support, including cash, employment services and psychological help for the most vulnerable.
St. Vincent de Paul as an inspiration
Depaul Ukraine is a charity inspired by St. Vincent de Paul, they ask for his intercession especially during the war, “he became a saint because he helped those who were the most affected by the wars of that time. He was thinking about them, meeting them and organizing big net of help”, explains Fr. Vitaliy.
On 27 September, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, Fr. Vitaily will be in Odessa, where people survived artillery shelling and lost roofs and windows of their houses. The Vincentians will repair the damage.
On the run-up to the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the charity also premiered a documentary entitled "What did you do to the Russians" in London. The documentary, by Slovak filmmakers Michal Fulier and Jana Buček Kovalčíková, follows Depaul Ukraine and Depaul Slovakia staff, capturing the reality of Ukrainians dependent on humanitarian aid.