With millions ‘seriously at risk,’ UN launches humanitarian appeal for Ukraine

25 February 2015 | Press Releases

Ukraine, 24 February 2015 – The enormous humanitarian needs of the people of Ukraine have intensified since January this year, outstripping local capacities, the United Nations’ top official in Ukraine said today as the international community launched a new humanitarian appeal for the country.

Displaced families and the elderly in Ukraine line up for WFP food vouchers, which enable them to obtain food including milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Displaced families and the elderly in Ukraine line up for WFP food vouchers, which enable them to obtain food including milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

The Humanitarian Response Plan 2015 for Ukraine appeals for $316 million targeting the most vulnerable 3.2 million people of the 5 million estimated to be in need of life-saving interventions, such as healthcare, shelter and clothing, as well as psychosocial care and basic education.

“The lives and dignity of people in conflict areas are seriously at risk,” said Neal Walker, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine. “It is estimated that more than one million people are displaced countrywide and two million people still reside in contested areas, of whom some half million are in underground shelters with little or no facilities.”

Mr. Walker said that since the Plan was originally conceived in January, the population’s needs had intensified and he appealed to the international community to help meet the $316 million needed to supplement the “incredible and crucial” local capacity.

“The crisis is beyond local capacities,” he said. “All need support, as access to services is curtailed. In many locations, the local capacity to respond is overstretched.”

Ukraine’s Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities, Hennadiy Zubko, joined Mr. Walker in launching the appeal, noting that the Government provides temporary housing and targeted financial assistance to those displaced, while also taking steps to meet their basic needs.

“The support of the international community is very important for the people of Ukraine,” he said. “I am very grateful to humanitarian actors for their commitment and readiness to support the Government of Ukraine in the significant scaling-up of its humanitarian response.”