People in Need will be targeted by a campaign to discredit its work in Donetsk

Published: Dec 6, 2016 Reading time: 4 minutes
People in Need will be targeted by a campaign to discredit its work in Donetsk
© Foto: Petr Štefan

Prague - December 6, 2016 - The Russian television station TVC, owned by the Moscow city administration released a teaser of a reportage about the work of international humanitarian organizations, including People in Need, in the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk, Ukraine. The announced reportage obviously intends to discredit the work of the organization and accuses People in Need of corruption and spying. “We strongly deny all the accusations. People in Need is a transparent and impartial organization and is not involved in illegal activities. This reportage and the way it was prepared is a typical example of propaganda,” says People in Need Director Simon Panek.

It is obvious that this reportage was ordered and manipulated. “The journalist, who prepared the reportage at TVC entered the People in Need office in Donetsk together with a group of armed men, herself wearing a mask and military camouflage. She filmed the intervention in the office and later filmed People in Need’s warehouse, which was then sealed,” says Simon Panek. “Most likely she had already prepared the reportage as a couple of days prior she conducted some interviews with our staff pretending she was an independent journalist.We will be not suprised if further accusations and attacks will appear. The same campaigns were used against several respected international humanitarian organizations, which worked in non-government controlled areas of Ukraine as well," he adds. 

VIDEO: People in Need work in non-government controlled areas of Ukraine here or here

People in Need’s accreditation in Donetsk was revoked on November 25. “Since then we have maintained a dialogue with the local authorities and are renegotiate the authorisation to deliver our emergency programs. This decision is currently impacting over 137 000 people affected by the conflict who are losing access to vital humanitarian aid. This is urgent especially now before the onset of the winter when people need food, runnig water and reconstruction and insulation of their houses,” says Simon Panek. "We still believe that despite targeted efforts to discredit People in Need, we will be allowed to deliver aid to the most vulnerable people before winter," he adds. People in Need has already helped hundreds of thousands of people in both government and non-government controlled areas of Ukraine since August 2014. 

People in Need strongly denies the accusation of corruption. “We are distributing humanitarian aid based on the needs of beneficiaries and the selection criteria are clearly communicated to the public and approved by local authorities who themselves provide the lists,” says People in Need Humanitarian Operations Coordinator Tomas Kocian. “Besides that all the distributions are monitored by our teams and the authorities to exclude the possibility of corruption. At the same time all beneficiaries and administrations have the telephone number to report possible complaints as part of our complaint response mechanism,” says Kocian and adds that People in Need is regularly audited by its donors. 

Since the early days of the conflict, PIN has been assisting civilians on both sides of the contact line, pursuing core humanitarian imperative and principles such as neutrality and impartiality. “People in Need’s mandate in Donetsk was purely humanitarian, we were never involved in any provocations. The only reason why we were based in Donetsk was to serve people in need. Furthermore, most of People in Need’s work is implemented by local people who really understand the needs and the situation of people living in non-governmental areas of Ukraine,” says Simon Panek. 

Since November 2014, in non-governmental controlled areas of Ukraine, People in Need has provided food aid to almost 570,000 people.  More than 138,000 people have benefited from house repairs and non-food item deliveries. And almost 296,000 people gained access to water thanks to People in Need’s joint collaboration with the local authorities, administrations and communities. 

The assistance from People in Need to eastern Ukraine is possible only thanks to the generous support of public collection SOS Ukraine and respected donors such as the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO); the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID); the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA); UN World Food Programme (WFP), The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP), Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and People in Need Club of friends. 

For further information please get in touch: 

Šimon Pánek, People in Need Director, +420 777 787 913


Autor: CvT

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