Winter clothing supplies keep families warm in Ukraine
As temperatures plummet, UNICEF is providing families with warm winter clothing.
Last year, for 135 days of the full-scale war in Ukraine, Natalia and her family from Kharkiv lived in the basement of a kindergarten. They are no stranger to cold temperatures – but the ongoing war and a lack of necessities has made this winter particularly difficult.
“Thermal underwear and warm winter pants are what you need. However, I don't go out as often as I did before the war.”
“The children are growing very quickly,” adds Natalia. “Artem already has a foot size of 44. Not everyone believes me when I tell people that he is only 11! My younger daughter Liza doesn’t have a winter jacket because she has already grown out of it.”
Warm winter clothing from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will help the family and scores of others to endure the freezing temperatures this winter.
“Everything in UNICEF’s kit will suit my children,” exclaims Natalia. “All the items are of high quality. This help is necessary because it is difficult to support the children financially.”
Olena from Kharkiv has four young daughters. She has received shoes, socks, a hat, scarf, gloves, a jacket and thermal underwear from UNICEF.
"I sew what I can for my children,” she says. “But now, it is hard even to buy some fabric as all shops are closed. It is difficult to get shoes because they are expensive.”
As a result of the war, Olena has lost her job, so money is tight.
"UNICEF’s package is good, high quality, and useful,” she says. “A jacket and trousers are appropriate for winter in our country. It's all necessary.”
Seven-year-old Arina, who is picking up a donation of warm clothing from UNICEF with her mother Iryna, is overjoyed with a panda-style winter jacket.
"This jacket will be my favorite!”
"Everything is more expensive now,” explains Iryna. “The money we earned before the war is not enough for all our needs anymore. I have four children, and our clothes are of bad quality now. The most frequent problem is shoes.”
Sets of these clothes for girls would cost us at least 10,000 UAH and maybe more. We certainly would not be able to allocate such funds. So it has made our life much easier.”
Deputy Mayor Svitlana Gorbunova-Ruban says that over 1,000 families with children live in Kharkiv. The city requested clothes from UNICEF for children aged 1-14.
"We have measured everyone and calculated how many sets we need,” she says. “We will primarily provide it for families with many children. We need to sew clothing for more than 32,000 children in Kharkiv. Separate categories are children with disabilities, displaced families, families in difficult conditions, low-income families and those who lost their property during the war.”
UNICEF’s comprehensive winter response is providing 800 power generators to support the provision of safe drinking water, as well as water for heating systems, medical facilities and other essential infrastructure. The response also includes the provision of winter clothing kits to 100,000 children, as well as non-food item kits and other child protection supplies, such as recreational kits, early childhood development kits and adolescent kits. Over 300 children with disabilities have been provided with assistive devices. UNICEF is grateful to USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance for its contribution and support to the people of Ukraine.