Cash offers a lifeline to war-weary families in Ukraine
Anna, her husband and three children were forced to hide from gunfire in a cramped basement until help arrived.
When the gunfire began in Dymer, a village not far from Kyiv, Anna, her husband and three children thought they would be safe in a cramped cellar in their backyard. But when food, water and electricity ran out, life became impossible.
Escape, too, seemed out of the question.
“The rumour was that, in a village nearby, a family with children was shot to death while trying to escape. There were also some injured people and others who died. I was horrified as my husband said he wouldn't escape and leave the house. I couldn’t go with three kids on my own, either”, - recalls Anna, 30.
Fortunately, help was on the horizon for Anna and her family.
"They brought and distributed rations to us, provided humanitarian aid in hospitals: baby food, diapers,” she says. “There was also some help from the church, they gave us food and clothes to the children. Plus, we visited those charitable shops, where you can come and take things.”
UNICEF’s cash assistance programme was another lifeline.
"My husband would go to get some milk and, every time, he stopped by his parents and sisters. They had the internet and that was how our relatives found out about UNICEF assistance and told us about it.”
The money, which came right on time, was vital for the family as the war had left Anna's husband without a job.
"The prices were super high, like one kilo of bananas cost 95 UAH,” she says. “Our children hadn't eaten something like that for months, so we wanted to treat them. We are grateful for this money, they helped us to undergo the hard times before my husband got a job.”
It also helped the family make several more important purchases, such as clothes, new mattresses for the children and new glasses for their son Timur.
"With these funds, we also bought clothes and shoes for the children for summer and also paid for their football lessons. We haven’t spent the money that is left and are saving it for an emergency, although we hope there won't be one”, - says Anna.
Despite the war, the mother of three still has hope for the future.
"The main thing is to live at home,” she says. “I want the school to open. I also want to give my kids everything we can, so that they are educated. I wish for a peaceful, calm and happy life for my children and us."
In August, more than 100,000 families raising over 331,000 children received financial assistance from UNICEF’s ‘Spilno’ cash assistance programme.
The cash assistance programme is made possible by funding from the European Union, the Government of Italy, the Swedish International Development Agency and the Central Emergency Response Fund.