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Ukraine: Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 15 September 2017) [EN/UA/RU]


As conflict continues in eastern Ukraine, its impact is steadily felt across the whole country. Despite the renewed ceasefire efforts before the start of school season on 1 September, clashes are reported daily, although with lesser intensity. According to OHCHR, at least seven civilians were killed and 34 injured in August 2017, representing a 16 per cent decrease compared to July 2017. Amidst ongoing hostilities, the fear of insecurity coupled with damaged facilities jeopardize safe and sustained access to education. As school season resumed, the Education Cluster estimates that there are some 42,000 school-age children and 290 operational educational facilities within the 15 km of ‘contact line’. The Cluster further suggests that by 1 September, indicatively, some 100 schools remained closed in non-Government controlled areas (NGCA) of Donetsk province alone, while about 25 schools are closed in Government controlled areas (GCA). Despite these challenges, the Cluster indicates that majority of students are able to enroll and attend schools, often taking extra distances to travel to safer schools.

Multiple challenges continued to exacerbate the humanitarian situation across other sectors. Shelter/NFI Cluster reports that despite relative decrease in hostilities, some 78 houses were damaged in August. The field reports also suggest that fire caused by heat weather and hostilities damaged some 750 hectares of agricultural land and forest territory in both GCA and NGCA, while insecurity, including presence of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) often delayed firefighting operations. The lack of harvest, which was caused due to fire damage may have negative impact on local economies amidst already fragile socio-economic situation. Of critical concern is an upcoming cold season, which usually starts in Ukraine as early as mid-October. According to the WASH Cluster analysis, some 2 million people on both sides of the ‘contact line’ are exposed to high and medium risks of heating system collapse ahead of upcoming winter. Interruptions of electricity supply or shelling of critical water infrastructure lead to water cut off, interrupting heating systems. The Cluster suggests that systems may not be restarted as pipes usually freeze in cold air temperatures, which usually drops as low as - 20 degrees Celsius. Food Security and Livelihoods and Shelter/NFI clusters also warn of potential aggravation of humanitarian situation during winter, as needs are expected to increase.

Against such background, humanitarian partners continue facing multiple challenges, particularly with underfunding, which seriously threatens both ongoing and planned response interventions. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) concluded a Mid-Year Review of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). On one hand, the MYR has prompted an overall increase of the number of people in need from 3.8 to 4 million, due to an increase of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) caseload. On the other hand, the number of people targeted has slightly decreased, from 2.6 to 2.4 million, prompting a decrease in the overall requirement from US$214 to $204 million. The reduction of US$10 million is driven predominantly by underfunding, the impacts of which not only prevent partners from implementing the planned programmes, but also force some key partners to cease their operations in Ukraine, hence the cancellation of their HRP projects. As of 15 September, the 2017 revised HRP is funded only at 25 per cent. A funding gap of US$154 million must urgently be addressed to jumpstart as well as sustain the much-needed winterization support in anticipation of the upcoming harsh and life-threatening winter.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
15 Sep 2017
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot