Donetsk, Dec 27 - DAN. The  Donbass people reunification humanitarian programme hotline has reported more than 36,500 calls since the beginning of this year, the Donetsk People’s Republic Communications Ministry press service told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

“Hotline operators have taken 36,523 calls since the beginning of 2018 and registered 35,203 of them,” the press service said. As many as 25, 381 residents sought welfare payments, 7, 267 requested medical services and 497 asked for education services.

A majority applied for assistance which is provided to people in a difficult situation. DPR residents accounted for 22,559 such calls, residents of Kiev-controlled Donbass areas for 12,926 calls, residents of Ukrainian towns for 187 and residents of other countries for 508.

The Donetsk People’s Republic has been implementing the humanitarian programme since February 17, 2017. It provides for medical and financial assistance, quotas for higher and vocational education for residents of Kiev-held areas, and their involvement, together with the DPR population in sport and cultural events and measures aimed to preserve spiritual and cultural values in the region.

In April 2017, the DPR launched a humanitarian programme hotline as requests for assistance increased dramatically. Hotline number for residents of Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk region: (066) 584-85-48.  Hotline number (serviced by Phoenix mobile operator) for DPR residents : (071) 099-40-00 or (062) 334-99-09 (fixed line number).*jk