The humanitarian crisis in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts in eastern Ukraine remains dire, with 3.4 million people on both sides of the “contact line” having critical humanitarian needs.1 While a comprehensive political solution to the conflict is nowhere in sight, Ukrainian families in the east have been forced to face daily risks to their lives, limited access to essential basic services, a lack of livelihood opportunities, and economic shutdowns. The COVID-19 crisis and its ensuing ramifications are yet another layer of hardship on top of the protracted conflict. People’s access to basic services has also been severely hindered as a result of the hostilities, landmine contamination, cumulative effects of years of armed conflict, COVID-19-related movement restrictions and other secondary impacts of the pandemic.
The resilience of already vulnerable communities on both sides of the “contact line” has been worn thin at an unprecedented pace, leading to greater reliance on humanitarian assistance.
In November 2020, humanitarian actors launched a very prioritized Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) calling for $168 million to assist some 1.9 million people in 2021. However, funding of the HRP remains low relative to the need. As of mid-August, the Ukraine HRP is funded at 27 per cent ($45.4 million received from an overall ask of $168 million).3 At the current pace of contributions, the 2021 HRP might be one of the least funded appeals since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Unless additional resources materialise, humanitarian needs will not be met this year.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.