Warsaw, Poland | AFP | Wednesday 2/11/2015 - 18:33 GMT
by Cecile Vivant
For a rising number of Ukrainians, Poland is looking like the promised land as the war at home forces them to seek safe haven in their European Union neighbour.
"Everyone I know from my region has lost a relative. The situation has become unbearable over there!" Olga Aliekdieiva, a Ukrainian university student studying in Warsaw, told AFP.
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.
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.
Ukraine - Conflict
Intensive attacks in the eastern Ukraine, including the deadly attacks in Mariupol have caused 5,000 casualties since the beginning of the conflict. Humanitarian needs are also increasing; over 900,000 IDPs and 600,000 refugees to neighbouring countries, mainly to Russia have been reported.
Violence has been ongoing in eastern Ukraine despite the ceasefire of 5 September. Heavy fighting and shelling have increased the number of killed and wounded, and between mid-September and mid-December, the number of registered internally displaced increased by over 266,000. A new ceasefire was announced for 9 December, with differing reports as to whether it has been violated.
As of 28 November, 490,046 IDPs have been identified by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. The majority (96 per cent) come from the eastern regions of Ukraine.
As of 28 November, 449,847 IDPs have registered with the Ministry of Social Policy in line with the new government registration policy.
| Overview |
As of 16 October, 417,246 IDPs have been identified by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. 95% come from the eastern regions of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Parliament adopted law on protection of internally displaced persons in addition to resolutions on IDP registration and provision of financial assistance, introduced by Cabinet of Ministers.
As of 18 September, almost 275,500 Ukrainians have been displaced throughout Ukraine. Almost 94% of them come from the eastern regions of Ukraine.
Within the reporting period, UNHCR distributed humanitarian aid worth more than 200,000 USD to the most vulnerable IDPs. Deliveries included assistance to rebuild destroyed homes.
More than 250,000 USD was provided in form of cash assistance to about 1,500 vulnerable IDPs in Kyiv, Lviv and Vinnytsia region.
With restricted access to the EU territory for people fleeing war and persecution, and asylum seekers ending up destitute or detained in some European countries, the EU remains an elusive safe haven for refugees.
Almost 260,000 persons are displaced throughout Ukraine as of 1 September. 94% come from eastern Ukraine.
At least 143,000 have fled in the past three weeks due to the intensified fighting in eastern regions.
The number of Ukrainians applying for international protection reached 121,190 in the Russian Federation and 4,106 across the EU.