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Ukraine: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) [EN/UA/RU]

An estimated 5.2 million people bear the brunt of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Even after four years of active hostilities, there is no immediate resolution in sight to end the suffering of the affected population, 3.5 million of whom require humanitarian assistance and protection due to widespread mine contamination, escalating psychological trauma and the degrading impact of the lack of access to basic services. Most people in need live in the conflict-affected oblasts of Donetska and Luhanska divided by the 427-kilometre-long ‘contact line’, which is equivalent to the length of the French-German border. The ‘contact line’ has also been the theatre of active hostilities which took the lives of over 3,300 civilians and injured approximately 9,000 since 2014. For three consecutive years, Ukraine has had more anti-vehicle mine incidents than any other country, which together with other mine-related incidents and the mishandling of explosive remnants of war (ERW) accounted for more than 40 per cent of civilian casualties in 2017 and 2018.1 Crossings of the ‘contact line’ through the five official checkpoints increased by 15 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017, with an average of 1.1 million crossings each month – over half of which were made by the elderly aged over 60. Freezing temperatures during Ukraine’s harsh winter further exacerbate the humanitarian situation, along with restrictions on and unpredictability of humanitarian access as well as diminishing or limited livelihood opportunities. Women and the elderly are disproportionately affected and increasingly prone to risks of abuse, exploitation and neglect. The elderly account for 30 per cent of those in need, which is the highest proportion of any crisis in the world, and constitute over half of those who are food insecure. Their higher rates of disability and immobility make them more vulnerable to economic insecurity. The situation is aggravated by administrative hurdles they face when accessing their entitlements, especially pensions. This increasingly difficult situation continues to force people to make impossible choices to meet their basic needs, and to keep their heads above water at the expense of their dignity and future.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
31 Jan 2019
Document type: 
Humanitarian Needs Overview