Mother and children leaving the war in Ukraine to seek safety in Europe © UNHCR/Zsolt Balla
More than 2 million people have now fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries. Inside Ukraine, UNHCR estimates that around 1.8 million people have been displaced to date. The humanitarian needs are enormous and rapidly increasing.
UNHCR is strengthening the response, in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, and UNHCR staff is working around the clock to respond as quickly as possible to the urgent needs.
“Thanks to Sweden’s flexible funding, UNHCR has been able to swiftly adapt its activities inside Ukraine and scale up to respond to this devastating humanitarian situation. This is why Sweden’s unearmarked support is invaluable,” says Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR’s Representative in Ukraine.
The Ukraine crisis is the fastest growing refugee situation in Europe since World War II, and without peace and an immediate end to the conflict, the humanitarian needs will only increase.
“The situation inside the country is dire. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes and are on the move inside the country. Some people have been stuck in bomb shelters or bunkers for days, unable to leave due to ongoing fighting,” describes Karolina Lindholm Billing and continues: “People in Ukraine need food, blankets, medicines, a roof over their heads and warm clothes. But more than anything, they need peace.”
UNHCR is present in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, providing humanitarian assistance and protection to people in need as well as supporting national authorities in the countries, receiving refugees from Ukraine.
Despite security and humanitarian access being major challenges, UNHCR continues to work inside Ukraine with partners to distribute core relief items and food for people who have been forced to flee, setting up heating points at the border, and providing information and legal counselling through various channels. UNHCR is also identifying key protection risks and needs of individuals and families – the majority women and children – and providing basic aid and cash assistance to the most vulnerable.
Last week a convoy of eight trucks with humanitarian aid delivered blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans to Vinnytsia. Additional convoys are ready to dispatch to other areas in need, as soon as the situation allows.
The UN estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine will need relief and protection, while more than 4 million refugees from Ukraine may need protection and assistance in neighbouring countries in the coming weeks and months.
Sweden is one of UNHCR’s biggest donors, and the largest contributor of unearmarked support to the agency.
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