The month of January generally saw a lower-than-usual movement across all five operational Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs), with almost 1 million civilian crossings recorded. While this was 18 per cent lower than the 2018 average of 1.1 million crossings, a similar crossing dynamic was also observed during the same period last year. Amidst below negative 15 degrees Celsius, conditions at the checkpoints remained challenging, particularly for the elderly who constituted more than half of those crossings every month to maintain family ties, access basic services and collect pensions in Government-controlled area (GCA). People had to queue for several hours to cross the ‘contact line’ in harsh and insecure environment. At least eight deaths were recorded among civilians, all being elderly, due to serious health complications, while crossing through the EECPs. This is the highest number of civilian deaths at the checkpoints in a single month since January 2018*. On a positive note, the NGO International Medical Care (InterMediCare) recently opened a medical resuscitation centre at the EECP ‘Stanytsia Luhanska’ equipped with emergency equipment, including a defibrillator, which could provide timely life-saving services. Meanwhile, the reconstruction works in GCA aimed at improving the crossing conditions of the EECPs ‘Maiorske’, ‘Hnutove’ and ‘Novotroitske’ (Donetska oblast) are in progress, while the similar efforts have been completed at the two other EECPs. In 2018, the Government of Ukraine allocated UAH 150 million (equivalent to US$5.5 million) to ensure adequate and dignified crossing conditions for civilians at the checkpoints on the GCA side.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.