Situational overview: The number of displaced has stabilized with the reduction in the intensity of the fighting. Concerns have increased over mines and unexploded ordnance as people come out of basement and shelters. Economic difficulties continue to impact the population affected and host communities, with considerable price rises in recent weeks, especially in non-government controlled areas where there are shortages.
While the ceasefire generally continues to hold, humanitarian needs remain high across eastern Ukraine.
Reports of incidents related to unexploded ordnance are on the increase. Mine and UXO/ERW contamination is a major issue, especially as planting season is scheduled to begin soon.
A recent assessment confirms that humanitarian concerns are more severe in non-government controlled areas than in Government-controlled areas, largely due to household poor financial conditions, availability of drugs and food.
● Critical medicines are in alarmingly low supply. Many people are cut off from access to medical care in non-government controlled areas (NGCAs).
● Bureaucratic procedures continue to impede access to (NGCAs), and are inconsistently applied both to civilians and to aid agencies, affecting freedom of movement and operations.
● The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Emergency Directors Group (EDG) travelled to Ukraine on 12-14 March to gain a better understanding of the plight of conflict-affected people.
This report provides a UK perspective on the global human rights situation during 2014, and examples of what the government is doing to promote human rights and democratic values overseas. It reviews the situation in specific countries and against the thematic priorities around which our work is organised.
One of the most striking trends of 2014 was the pressure put by governments on civil society organisations in many parts of the world, damaging human rights and the economic interests of those same countries.
A surge of violence since mid-January, including battle for the city of Debaltseve in mid-February, has caused a wave of new displacement into government-controlled areas.
Food security and protection continue to be major concerns for people in non-governmentcontrolled areas who are cut off from supplies, especially older people who did not register as IDPs before the 1 February deadline, and other vulnerable groups. Food security is further constrained by rising food prices.
UNHCR provides aid in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government for the first time in the conflict.
UNHCR is concerned that measures on movement restrictions for people and cargo to conflict zones could worsen the dire situation for those displaced and further complicate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Over 2,000 victims of shelling in the southern city of Mariupol received emergency assistance from UNHCR.
The year opened with a worsening of the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Nigeria and Ukraine, each with potentially major regional implications. Violence escalated in Sudan, as well as in Lebanon's Tripoli and along its southern border with Israel, and a deadly clash between police and militants in the southern Philippines threatened to derail the peace process there. In South Asia, both Bangladesh and Nepal saw political tensions intensify.
Fighting in Eastern Ukraine continues despite ceasefire declarations. Violence has escalated significantly since mid-January. Rocket explosions and indiscriminate shelling have killed more civilians and further destroyed infrastructure. In late January separatist groups launched an offensive on the government-controlled port city of Mariupol, home to some half a million people and strategically located between mainland Russia and the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea. Violations of international humanitarian law are likely.