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UN humanitarian organizations have initiated a request for $4.2 billion to aid the most vulnerable in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
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UN humanitarian organizations have initiated a request for $4.2 billion to aid the most vulnerable in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Currently, approximately 14.6 million individuals in the nation require humanitarian aid, which accounts for 40% of the total population. Additionally, 6.3 million people have sought refuge outside of the country as refugees.

“We need to continue supporting the people of Ukraine,” stated Mr. Griffiths during a press conference in Geneva. He acknowledged that the war has affected every part of the country and that the recent surge of attacks began at the end of last year.

In the midst of ongoing attacks in the border areas with Russia and Ukrainian cities, Mr. Griffiths emphasized the severe toll on civilians caused by the conflict. He specifically noted the dire situation in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions, where families are forced to seek shelter in damaged homes without basic utilities like water, gas, or electricity.

Resources spent

The residents of the most vulnerable villages have depleted their limited resources and are now dependent on aid shipments to sustain themselves. The UN’s emergency relief leader stated that this is being done in collaboration with the Ukrainian government’s own initiatives.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), drone and missile attacks have resulted in people, especially the elderly, being confined to basements for safety. As a result, children are unable to play outside or attend school.

This year, a total of $3.1 billion will be needed to guarantee that the UN and numerous aid organizations in Ukraine can assist 8.5 million of the most at-risk individuals.

In 2023, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that aid workers were able to provide assistance to approximately 11 million individuals in Ukraine. This achievement was made possible through the help of the international donor community, despite facing significant difficulties in accessing areas occupied by the Russian Federation.

Worst of the war

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has called for increased and continuous aid for Ukrainian refugees in 11 surrounding countries. He has appealed to donors for an extra $1.1 million in 2024 to assist 2.3 million people who have been displaced by the conflict, as well as the communities hosting them.

“I would argue that the past month has been one of the most devastating periods of the war for civilians,” stated Mr. Grandi. He emphasized that the main focus should be on aiding the people of Ukraine.

The head of the UNHCR emphasized that along with the six million people who left the country during the initial stages of the conflict, there are now 10 million individuals who are displaced from their homes, making this situation the most significant displacement crisis globally.

According to information from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that approximately 900,000 individuals who were displaced by the conflict have likely gone back to Ukraine.

However, there are still individuals who have been displaced and need support as they are unable to go back to their residences, which have either been demolished or are located on the front lines and pose a safety risk, according to his explanation.

Managing expectations

According to Mr. Grandi, the decrease in the UNHCR 2024 appeal compared to last year’s request of $1.7 billion is due to reduced needs and strong support from European Union (EU) governments, which have provided refuge for the majority of displaced individuals from Ukraine.

However, there are still significant needs in Moldova, a non-EU country, where refugees must be able to work and have continued access to education and healthcare services.

The UNHCR reported that although there have been attempts to promote inclusivity, only 50% of refugee children of school age are currently attending schools in host countries. Additionally, 25% of refugees who require healthcare are facing challenges in accessing it. Furthermore, only 40-60% of refugees are employed, often in jobs that do not match their qualifications, leaving many in a vulnerable position without the means to sustain themselves.

The most recent information from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) shows that there have been 27,449 documented civilian casualties in Ukraine. This includes 9,701 deaths and 17,748 injuries. However, OHCHR notes that the true numbers are likely to be much higher due to delays caused by ongoing fighting and difficulties in verifying reports in certain areas such as Mariupol (in Donetsk) and Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk (in Luhansk).