The Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) invited a Peer-2-Peer support mission to work with the humanitarian team in Ukraine to look at ways to strengthen the response. The mission team included two Peer-2-Peer core staff, and was supported by senior humanitarian representatives from UNICEF, UNHCR, and Save the Children. The mission was carried out in April, 2017 with a particular emphasis on leadership and coordination, programmes and delivery, and protection (including accountability to affected people and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse). Within this framework, the mission looked more closely at the coordination structure to follow up on an inter-cluster coordination review mission that took place a year earlier, and the linkages between humanitarian operations and recovery and development work, as requested by the HC.
The mission concluded with a Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) retreat where the HCT identified a number of areas where the response could be strengthened. The HCT collectively committed to implementing an action plan that was drafted in the retreat, over the next six-twelve months, depending on different issues. The plan identified the importance of articulating a clear vision for the humanitarian response in respect to the complexities of the crisis; and the importance of streamlining the humanitarian coordination structure and establishing a stronger and more senior footprint in the east of the country i.e. move the centre of gravity away from Kiev to the areas where the humanitarian needs exist. The latter issue is a repetition of what was called for in the inter-cluster review twelve months earlier. The HCT has committed to take action on the issues that are articulated in their action plan, particularly moving the response’s centre of gravity to the east of the country, and to deploy more senior staff in the areas under the control of the de-facto authorities on the east of the contact line.
Different UN agencies and NGOs have committed to take on a leadership role on specific issues on behalf of the HC to demonstrate that the HCT is a leadership team that can work together to effectively address a range of different challenges. An Update Report on progress against the HCT Action Plan is expected by the 6th November 2017, and will be submitted by the HC to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) and the Emergency Directors’ Group (EDG).