ACAPS Briefing note: Ukraine - Conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk (4 November 2019)

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Since 2014, persisting armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (oblasts) in eastern Ukraine has caused over 3,000 civilian deaths, some 9,000 casualties, and internally displaced about 1.3 million people. Currently an estimated 5.2 million are affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in particular people living within 20km on each side of the contact line that divides government-controlled areas (GCA) and non-government-controlled areas (NGCA).

Anticipated scope and scale

Despite ceasefire agreements (the latest one in late July 2019) and a significant reduction in violence against civilians since 2016, continued attacks against water and electric infrastructure keep disrupting service provision. Insecurity and restrictions on movement are likely to continue, affecting access to food and basic services (health, education) and limiting livelihood opportunities.
Humanitarian conditions are expected to deteriorate in the winter months, when the increased utility prices will force many of the most vulnerable households to spend less on food and reduce their consumption.

Humanitarian constraints

Despite a decrease in hostilities, insecurity and the presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war represent major access constraints. People in non-government-controlled areas are particularly hard to reach due to logistical constraints and administrative requirements imposed by separatist authorities.