UKRAINE / ACCESS TO PENSIONS

Preview Language:   Original
21-Mar-2018 00:01:39
Since armed conflict divided eastern Ukraine back in 2014, almost 1.3 million pensioners have found themselves caught in the middle, living in territory now outside of government control but dependent on state institutions for their hard-earned retirement pensions. To get their pensions, the old and frail are forced repeatedly to make a difficult, costly and dangerous journey across the “line of contact”. UNHCR

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STORY: UKRAINE / ACCESS TO PENSIONS
TRT: 1:39
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: RUSSIAN /NATS

DATELINE: 14 MARCH 2018, NOVOTROITSKE, UKRAINE

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, elderly Ukrainians waiting for a bus
2. Wide shot, Nelia walking through the checkpoint area
3. Wide shot, internally displaced persons are checked by Ukrainian soldiers
4. Pan left, Nelia walking to bus
5. Close up, Nelia holding her Ukrainian passport
6. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Nelia, 71-year-old Ukrainian pensioner:
“I earned my pension. All of it is left in Ukraine. And now we have to suffer by going back and forth.”
7. Wide shot, elderly Ukrainians waiting for a bus
8. Wide of elderly Ukrainians at the checkpoint
9. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Nelia, 71-year-old Ukrainian pensioner:
“They stopped paying my pension a year ago.”
10. Wide shot, people behind a fence
11. Wide shot, people entering a bus
12. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Liubov, daughter of pensioner:
“It’s hard, especially on granny, who is 82. It’s hard to come over.”
13. Tilt up, Ukrainian solders checking documents at the checkpoint
14. Focus shift, from an anti-tank barricade to a landmine sign in Russian and in Ukrainian
15. Tracking shot, fields
16. Pan left, heated tents in the checkpoint area
17. Pan right, elderly Ukrainians walking
18. Tilt up, from the muddy pavement to elderly Ukrainians boarding a bus

STORYLINE:

Since armed conflict divided eastern Ukraine back in 2014, almost 1.3 million pensioners have found themselves caught in the middle, living in territory now outside of government control but dependent on state institutions for their hard-earned retirement pensions.

To get their pensions, the old and frail are forced repeatedly to make a difficult, costly and dangerous journey across the “line of contact”.

The armed conflict that has divided eastern Ukraine since 2014 has been particularly hard on the elderly, who depend on their retirement pensions to make ends meet. In August 2014, there were approximately 1.3 million pensioners registered in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions which were no longer fell under government control. By November 2017, the number of elderly there receiving a regular pension had plummeted to 505,000.

The challenges for them to access the money are massive. Ukrainian government institutions which deliver it – social services and pensions offices, as well as the state-run bank – no longer operate on the other side of the so-called line of contact. To receive a pension, one must then travel to the government-controlled area (GCA) to register as an internally displaced person (IDP).

Difficult and repetitive verification procedures follow, forcing the elderly to make an expensive and long journey to undergo the procedure. Many are too frail or isolated to endure the checkpoint crossing and make the trip across the line of contact. For those who do, there is the constant worry of shelling, landmines and long queues in freezing temperatures. Over time this linkage between IDP registration and eligibility for pension has disenfranchised nearly 800,000 persons, keeping them from accessing their own retirement funds.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, provides heated tents at the checkpoint for those making the journey and assistance to IDPs and other Ukrainians affected by the enduring conflict on both sides of the line, and advocates for the removal of obstacles that are keeping elderly citizens from receiving a regular pension.
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UNHCR
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unifeed180321a
Asset ID
2114382