In 2023, the City of Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, was selected as a grantee of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), the MMC’s instrument to channel international funding directly to cities to implement inclusive projects of their own design.
With support from the GCF, Dunaivtsi is repurposing an abandoned hospital to create a family center that will provide dignified housing to 30 internally displaced families with children. In addition to fulfilling essential shelter needs, the center will provide internally displaced children and their caregivers psychological counseling and access to social services to support their well-being, inclusion, and healthy development.
Over five million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022. While Dunaivtsi has not been on the front lines of the conflict, the city of 15,000 residents has received over 10,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). The war has also impacted the city’s financial resources, with
disruption of local businesses and the additional costs associated with the needs of returned army personnel. Despite these challenges, the Dunaivtsi City Council has made a concerted effort to welcome and provide for the needs of all IDPs in the city.
Accommodation of displaced families with children is a particularly pressing issue in Dunaivtsi and across the country. According to UNICEF, 2.5 million children are internally displaced in the country. Children have also been severely impacted by the conflict, with many losing parents, suffering from post-traumatic distress and having their education disrupted. In Dunaivtsi, over 500 displaced children are still in need of safe and dignified housing.
The City of Dunaivtsi is repurposing an abandoned hospital to create a family center that will provide dignified housing and social services to thirty internally displaced families with children.
In addition to fulfilling an essential shelter need, the family center will provide internally displaced children and their caregivers psychological counseling and access to social services to support their well-being, inclusion, and healthy development.
The center’s wrap-around offerings will include individual and family meetings with psychologists, educational and touristic excursions, visits to after-school and sport programs, a public playground for children, and documentation services from the Mobile Administrative Services Center.
These activities specifically aim to promote community inclusion and help internally displaced families and children learn more about the region. Dunaivtsi will also furnish the family center with age-responsive indoor and outdoor spaces for families to safely play and rest.
Dunaivtsi’s GCF project has been designed and will be developed in collaboration with IDPs already living in the facility, who will continue to advise on the construction work and the inclusion activities. The city will also offer residents paid work once renovations commence.
After the war, the city plans to turn the space into a children’s camp or rehabilitation center for domestic and gender-based violence survivors.
Velina Zaiats, Mayor of Dunaivtsi, Ukraine
The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will help us improve the lives of children and families displaced today, while building our capacity to address future needs once the war is over.
Stay tuned for more impact updates at the end of Dunaivtsi’s GCF grant term!