KRAMATORSK, Ukraine, 5 June 2015 - Arkadiy,10,  Mykola, 9, and their youngest brother lost their parents during shelling in Donetsk.  A tragic loss combined with horror of living under constant fire have forced young orphans to flee to nearby Kramatorsk,  located  in the government controlled part of Donetsk region. The boys are now staying with their grandmother Natalia, who is the only caregiver in the family. Four of them are trying to make their ends meet with Natalia’s pension that is slightly higher than 50 USD per month.

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Kramatorsk and nearby areas of Northern Donetsk region host almost 250,000 displaced persons, including the most vulnerable groups such as pensioners and children. With economic downturn and depleting resources majority of new arrivals can hardly afford basic necessities at their new place of accommodation. They often rely on local volunteers and humanitarian assistance to cover their needs in food, clothing and household items.

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On 5 June, UNHCR Kharkiv has delivered the EU-funded assistance for nearly 3,500 IDPs in Northern Donetsk region. Over 1,200 blankets, 1,700 bedlinen sets, 740 towels, 420 kitchen sets,  1,800 candles, 700 buckets and jerry cans will be distributed in the upcoming week by local volunteers in Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka and Konstiantinvika.  Basic relief and household items will be prioritized to the most needy displaced, such elderly, disabled and family with children.

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Since the beginning of the conflict the EU has allocated USD 4,4 million through the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to support UNHCR activities in Ukraine. EU humanitarian assistance allowed UNHCR to improve the situation for tens of thousands in need with distributions of urgent aid, shelter repairs and construction materials. This number covers Arkadiy and his brothers who fled violence with no belongings. UNHCR has provided sleeping bags, bedding sets and basic household items to ease the life of young orphans in displacement.

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More photos can be found on UNHCR Ukraine Flickr page