UNHCR delivers aid amid worsening conditions in eastern Ukraine
Conditions in northern Donetsk and in Luhansk are particularly dire, with the supply of water and electricity often disrupted by shelling and rocket attacks.
GENEVA, March 10 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it is "extremely concerned" about the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the areas controlled by anti-government forces.
UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said the lack of access to benefits and services previously provided by the central authorities had drastically worsened the plight of the civilian population in these areas. "This has been further aggravated by restrictions to the movement of people and goods," he told journalists in Geneva.
Conditions in northern Donetsk and in Luhansk are particularly dire, with the supply of water and electricity often disrupted by shelling and rocket attacks. Heavy shelling resulting in civilian deaths continues to be reported, especially around the town of Debaltseve, which was the scene of heavy fighting in January and February.
"The fighting makes the delivery of humanitarian aid to the many civilians trapped in the conflict areas extremely difficult. The scarcity of basic supplies, including food, fuel and medicines, has driven up prices of available supplies," Spindler said.
"Living conditions, particularly for those with damaged homes or sheltering in bunkers and basements under the rubble of their houses or apartment buildings, have been exacerbated by cold weather and low temperatures," he added.
Freedom of movement is an issue and civilians are often trapped in the conflict zone. Lack of available and affordable transport, insecurity along exit routes and administrative barriers are preventing civilians from reaching safety and UNHCR staff report that many people in these areas feel abandoned.
The Ukrainian authorities have evacuated more than 11,000 people (including over 2,240 children and almost 350 people living with disabilities) from Donetsk and Luhansk, "but assistance to evacuees continues to fall far short of demand, particularly in the provision of accommodation, transport, information and maintaining family unity," Spindler stressed.
Despite security risks, UNHCR and partners have delivered emergency non-food aid to some of the neediest civilians, including in areas that had been under frequent bombardment. For the first time, UNHCR has delivered aid to two areas in Luhansk-Novopskov and Markivka. According to local authorities, around 30 per cent of the displaced population in Novopskov and Markivka received assistance.
Distributions also took place in Debaltseve and in the nearby village of Nikishyne, where many houses have been damaged or destroyed by recent fighting. In addition, some 11,500 people in the Donetsk region received non-food humanitarian assistance from UNHCR in February.
"UNHCR is continuing to scale-up its presence in Donetsk city and is currently looking at the feasibility of an increased presence in Luhansk," Spindler said.
As part of the overall UN response to the situation in Ukraine, UNHCR co-leads the protection cluster and leads the shelter and non-food Items cluster. The number of people internally displaced by the conflict in Ukraine has now reached the 1.1 million mark, while the total number of Ukrainians who have sought asylum, residence permits or other forms of legal stay in neighbouring countries now stands at 674,300, including 542,800 in Russia and 80,700 in Belarus.
Related news and stories
Octogenarian couple struggle for survival on Ukraine's front line
Elderly bear brunt of hardship in front-line Ukraine village
Displaced by war, Ukrainians with disabilities find creative ways to cope
Living in limbo for months in a divided town
Ukrainian couple living with HIV beat the odds to build stable family life
For many along Ukraine's division line, cold is also an enemy
Your search for « ukraine » matched 1428 results. Only the first 1,000 results are displayed. Displaying page 1 of 112 pages.
Ukraine Situation : UNHCR Supplementary Appeal January - December 20156 Feb 2015 ... 1 SUPPLEMENTARY APPEAL 2015 Ukraine Situation Emergency Response January – December 2015 2 Cover photograph: A Ukrainian woman takes stock of the devastation to her home which was damaged by heavy ......
Ukraine Operational Update22 Apr 2016 ... UKRAINE UNHCR OPERATIONAL UPDATE 2-22 April 2016 HIGHLIGHTS Situational overview: During the reporting period, the security situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated. The situation throughout ......
Ukraine, Illegal Migration - 200212 Nov 2003 ... R EPUBLIC R EPUBLIC R EPUBLIC R EPUBLIC R EPUBLIC REPUBLIC UKRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE UKRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE U KRAINE UKRAINE U ......
Ukraine: Humanitarian needs rise as internal displacement tops 117,000 people5 Aug 2014 ... As the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to deteriorate, the UN refugee agency estimates that over 117,000 people are currently displaced inside Ukraine. In the past seven days more than 6,200 people ......
Ukraine conflict pushes more people from their homes2 Sep 2014 ... Ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine, in particular around Donetsk, Luhansk and neighbouring towns, ... The number of people displaced inside Ukraine has more than doubled in the past three weeks. As of 1 ......
Ukraine displacement worsening as winter looms24 Oct 2014 ... With the crisis in Ukraine entering its first winter, UNHCR is racing to help some of the most ... Estimates as of yesterday (Thursday 23 October) are that Ukraine's internally displaced population ......
Ukraine conflict uproots hundreds of thousands5 Dec 2014 ... reported on Friday that fighting in eastern Ukraine this year has forced more than half-a-million ... UNHCR spokesman William Spindler, citing Ukrainian State Emergency Service figures, said some ......
Beyond Borders: Bulletin No. 5 of the UNHCR in Ukraine1 May 2005 ... Україні №5 Bulletin of the UNHCR in Ukraine Крізь кордони Зміцнення ... Комісією Strengthening Asylum in Ukraine — a project financed by the European ......
Between a rock and a hard place: unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Ukraine. Katharine WilliamsonOct 2011 ... unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Ukraine Katharine Williamson E-mail: ... of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Ukraine continue to cross in to the EU. Little is ......