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.
By Natalia Ojewska
WROCLAW, 23 March 2015 (IRIN) - During nearly a year of conflict between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine, neighbouring Poland has received less than 3,000 of the 674,000 Ukrainians that have fled the country.
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.
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.