Atlas Logistique warehouse in Kharkiv (Ukraine) | © HI / 2022
Oleksandr Tatarintsev, Warehouse Supervisor at Atlas Logistique in Kharkiv explains the essential role of the logistics activities supported by the European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC).
The European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC), is the European Union’s new set of operational tools designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural hazards and human-induced disasters.
In Ukraine, massive shellings of critical and residential infrastructure led to people being left without housing and livelihoods, electricity, water and heating: at least 17.6 million people need humanitarian assistance. Since the beginning of the conflict, Atlas Logistique helps delivering the necessary humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people at the right time and the right place. This mobilization is possible thanks to the support of the European Union.
My name is Oleksandr Tatarintsev, I work as the Warehouse Supervisor at Atlas Logistique in Kharkiv.
Before the war, I was employed at one of the largest agrarian holdings of Ukraine. More than a half of those factories sustained catastrophic damage, some of them were completely destroyed and cannot be restored. During the first five months of war, I lived under bombings in Kharkiv, while also being unemployed. When the shelling calmed down a bit, I've found a job at Atlas Logistique. I'm happy to have a job with such a noble mission — to help people in these difficult circumstances of war.
The warehouse was opened in August 2022 in Kharkiv and we started to work one month later. At the moment we have nine partners in Kharkiv area.
The warehouse is used for storage of hygienic kits and food supply kits. They include shampoos, soap, detergents, wet wipes, all the necessary household items. Food supply kits include flour, grain, macaroni, canned food. There are also sleep kits — blankets, pillows, bed linen, mattresses, sleeping bags. The warehouse is equipped with all-purpose batteries for charging of phones and other equipment. Our partners are keeping their kits for premises repair here. For instance, Solidarités International distributes repair kits for windows and premises among the affected population.
All items stored at Atlas Logistique warehouse in Kharkiv are delivered to very sensitive territories in Kharkiv region, such as the cities of Izium, Balaklia, Vovchansk, Kupiansk and nearby villages. The humanitarian situation is very difficult in there. During the period when they were under military control, from February to September 2022 these settlements were completely obliterated. All houses are destroyed, there is no power supply, no heating, no water. These territories are primarily inhabited by lonely and helpless elderly people. Also, some locals who temporarily relocated due to the war to lesser affected areas are coming back now. They are trying to bring their life to order, refurbish their homes. Our partners are helping them with that. Recently, International Rescue Committee sent there some stoves for heating of the houses.
Every two or three weeks, social workers visit these territories to survey the situation and population needs. Then they draw up the requests and we submit the life-saving shipments. On average, we have nine shipments per day.
I feel that our work is very important right now. Without this humanitarian assistance from national and international organizations people just wouldn't have been able to survive. So we’ll keep working in order to help vulnerable people in Ukraine.
The European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) is the European Union’s new set of operational tools designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural hazards and human-induced disasters.
Coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), the EHRC is based on 3 pillars:
1. provision of common logistics services to EU humanitarian partners (among others, air and land transport operations and warehousing systems);
2. prepositioned stockpiles of emergency items in critical areas worldwide;
3. provision of expertise, mainly in the health sector, currently under development.
Since April 2022, Atlas Logistique – one of HI's operational units – is intervening in Ukraine though the first pillar of the EHRC instrument. The EHRC and Atlas Logistique have been providing European logistics services to humanitarian partners via the logistics hubs in Vinnytsia, Dnipro and Kharkiv as well as the establishment of a trucking system to deploy humanitarian supplies to hard-to-reach areas where the needs are the highest.