Ukraine: Special Update: Deterioration of Security Situation in Eastern Ukraine, 3 February 2017
The situation along the ‘contact line’ has been deteriorating. During the period from 27 January and 3 February, the number of affected people in Avdiivka and critical areas on both sides of the ‘contact line’ has jumped from 17,000 to approximately 1.8 million;
UNICEF is providing immediate life-saving WASH support (i.e. trucked water, hygiene kits, etc.) to the most vulnerable people in Avdiivka, based on a projected caseload of 20,000 people for the next three months;
Coupled with the escalated conflict, harsh winter conditions have seriously affected the livelihoods of thousands of people in eastern Ukraine. UNICEF has prepared emergency winterization response to 20,000 people, including 4,000 children, who remain along the ‘contact line’.
In view of the seriousness of the situation and within the 2017 HAC, the CO urgently requires $3,500,000 for multi-sector response of which $2,250,000 will focus on ensuring the continuity of emergency safe water supply for 500,000 people for 3 months.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Since 27 January, the sharp escalation in fighting along the ‘contact line’ in eastern Ukraine has had significant humanitarian consequences with the reported deaths of 7 civilians and 41 injured in addition to major damage to water and electricity infrastructure. The disruption of water supply systems, on which centralised heating is depending, is of great concern while temperatures are predicted to remain at -17 degrees C in the coming days. Overall, 1.8 million people, including 250,000 children, are affected by disruption of water supply in areas along both sides of the ‘contact line’ and face serious health risks should heating systems be stopped altogether. Considering the scale of the damage, a ceasefire is urgently needed for several days for electrical repairs, followed by water pipeline repairs. In addition, the risk of damage to chemical plants, mines and sewage canals pumping stations situated in the triangle around Avdiivka, Yasynuvata and Donetsk, may expose people to additional environmental hazards. The situation along the ‘contact line’ is rapidly deteriorating: over the period of a week, the number of affected people has increased from 17,000 to 1.8 million.