Ukraine

Ukraine: Humanitarian Impact Situation Report (As of 12:00 p.m. (EET) on 15 April 2022)

Attachments

This report is produced by OCHA Ukraine in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 09:00 a.m. on 13 April to 12:00 p.m. on 15 April. The next report will be issued on or around 18 April.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • During the reporting period, eastern and southern Ukraine continued to face the fiercest fighting. Attacks were also reported in Kyivska (north) and Zaporizka (south-east) oblasts.

  • According to the findings of Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG), the Ukraine crisis risks tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of the global population — into poverty, destitution and hunger.

  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that 1.4 million people are currently without running water across eastern Ukraine and that hostilities-related damage to infrastructure and power cuts put an additional 4.6 million people across Ukraine at risk of losing access to piped water.

  • As of 13 April, the UN and its humanitarian partners have reached 2.5 million people with multisectoral assistance across Ukraine, including 400,000 people reached during the past week alone. Some 2.5 million people were reached with food and livelihoods assistance, over 1 million with health assistance and over 240,000 with water, sanitation and hygiene assistance.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

General humanitarian situation. During the reporting period, eastern and southern Ukraine continued to face the fiercest fighting, causing damages to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Civilian casualties and damages to civilian infrastructure were also reported in Kyivska and Zaporizka oblast.
Although the geographic scope of hostilities has reduced compared with the first few weeks following the start of the invasion of the Russian Federation, the needs of millions of people across Ukraine, including displaced and those remaining in hardhit areas, continue to deteriorate. Hundreds of thousands remain without or have reduced access to water, gas, electricity and mobile communications, while internally displaced persons (IDPs) in western Ukraine face challenges with securing adequate shelter and finding ways to support themselves and their families.
Following the news about the deaths of two female staff members and five of their relatives at the Caritas office in Mariupol (Donetska oblast) in mid-March, which became available only recently, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) Martin Griffiths issued a statement, calling on the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, homes and civilian infrastructure across Ukraine. USG/ERC also reiterated the appeal for the parties to the conflict to urgently agree on clear arrangements for the safe passage of civilians out of areas where their lives are at risk, as well as the safe, rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance into areas where civilians are facing catastrophic levels of need.
As of 14 April, the number of civilian casualties since 24 February 2022 stands at 4,633, including 1,982 killed and 2,651 injured, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and airstrikes. OHCHR believes the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed, and many reports are still pending corroboration.
Impact on global food, energy and finance systems. On 13 April, UN Secretary-General António Guterres presented the first detailed policy brief issued by the GCRG, which he set up to study the effects of the military offensive in Ukraine on the world’s most vulnerable. According to the policy brief, the Ukraine crisis risks tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of the global population — into poverty, destitution and hunger.
The Russian Federation and Ukraine produce around 30 per cent of the world’s wheat and barley, one-fifth of its maize, and over half of its sunflower oil. Together, their grain is an essential food source for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people, providing more than one-third of the wheat imported by 45 African and least-developed countries. At the same time, the Russian Federation is the world’s top natural gas exporter and second-largest oil exporter. Together, neighbouring Belarus and the Russian Federation also export around a fifth of the world’s fertilizers. As a result, commodity prices are reaching record highs across the board. As of 8 April, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food prices are 34 per cent higher than during the same period last year and have never been this high since FAO started recording them. Similarly, crude oil prices have increased by around 60 per cent, and gas and fertilizer prices have more than doubled.
Vulnerable populations in developing countries are particularly exposed to these price swings, as they dedicate a larger share of their income to food and energy. The world’s poorest countries tend to be net food importers and export and import measures on trade can further exacerbate rising food prices. At current price levels, FAO worst-case estimates of increases in undernourishment and food insecurity are also highly likely.
Impacts on health care. According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 13 April, it has verified 119 reports of attacks on health care since the start of the conflict (with 109 confirmed, two possible and eight with probable levels of certainty). WHO specifies that the attacks resulted in a total of 73 people killed, 51 injured. In addition, WHO recorded 105 cases of attacks on health facilities, 13 on transport, 23 on health personnel, 11 on patients, 21 on medical supplies delivery, and two cases affecting medical warehousing.
WHO also notes that the utilization of health-care services by Ukrainians, which had declined by nearly half at the start of the current escalation at the end of February and especially in the north, has gradually increased – reflecting the de-escalation in hostilities. Population movement within Ukraine also contributes to the steady increase of patients who received care outside their permanent places of residence, with the main additional patient workload occurring in the western part of the country. The movement is clearly visible in the increase in the number of antenatal care services and other essential care such as hemodialysis. As more and more women are leaving Ukraine, a declining number of obstetrics and neonatal care cases is observed. WHO concludes in part that the Ukrainian health sector has been demonstrating resilience in the last few weeks, including the ability to resume offering normal services, such as treatment for circulatory diseases.
Impacts on water systems. UNICEF reported that 1.4 million people are currently without running water across eastern Ukraine and that hostilities-related damage to infrastructure and power cuts put an additional 4.6 million people across Ukraine at risk of losing access to piped water. UNICEF reports that at least 20 separate incidents of damage to water infrastructure have been recorded in eastern Ukraine alone. The intensification of fighting in the east and the widespread use of explosive weapons in populated areas threatens to further decimate the water system, which is now at risk of complete collapse, following the impact of eight years of simmering conflict on an already ailing network. In Mariupol (Donetska oblast), thousands of people are using dirty sources as they seek any water they can find. Major cities across Donetska and Luhanska oblasts are also cut off from water supplies, and an additional 340,000 people will lose water supply if a reservoir in Horlivka (Donetska oblast) runs dry. The cities of Sumy (Sumska oblast, north-east) and Chernihiv (Chernihivska oblast, north) experienced serious water stoppages in early March, and Kharkiv’s (Kharkivska oblast, east) water system was also seriously affected. UNICEF concludes that there is an urgent need to restore water access and provide emergency supplies to these cities and other areas of intense fighting.
Impacts on vulnerable groups. HelpAge International reports that older persons are among the most vulnerable. HelpAge says they can often be ignored amid hostilities and be left to struggle to survive alone. It points out that since the outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, one-third of Ukrainians requiring assistance were over 60, making it the world’s “oldest” humanitarian crisis. Now, the report continues, many older people are hidden away in their homes – saying that a survey at the beginning of March found that 99 per cent of older people in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts had no plans to leave. For many, mobility difficulties mean leaving is impossible, many do not have family nearby to help, and most cannot even reach and access local shelters. HelpAge notes that older people often remain at home in times of ongoing fighting because they often do not want to be a burden, want to protect their homes, or because they have already moved many times before. HelpAge reports that as the military offensive expands around Ukraine, more older people will be left behind, isolated and in urgent need of food, water, heating and health, including mental health, support.
Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. On 13 April, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issued a report on the military offensive in Ukraine that describes in detail allegations of widespread human rights violations, including the right to life and the prohibition of torture and concerning other inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment. The OSCE explained that the report’s mandate included investigating possible contraventions of OSCE commitments and violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In particular, the report focuses on the far-reaching impacts of the ongoing hostilities on civilians – including those killed, injured, abused, or forced to flee – and on civilian infrastructure, including damage to health-care and education facilities and housing. The OSCE concluded that, while it was not able to verify all reported violations, it did find “credible evidence” suggesting that such violations have been committed. Meanwhile, the OSCE specified that it completed the investigation and the report through its “Moscow Mechanism” for resolving particular human rights issues without the participation of the Russian Federation.
Eastern Ukraine. The heaviest fighting continues to be taking place primarily in the eastern part of the country, with most of Luhanska and parts of Donetska and Kharkivska oblasts affected, and with reported attacks and strikes also taking place elsewhere. As of 14 April, OHCHR reports that nearly 45 per cent (2,047) of all corroborated casualties were recorded in Government- and non-Government-controlled areas (GCA and NGCA) of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts. OHCHR also notes that the receipt of information from Izium (Kharkivska oblast), Mariupol, Popasna (Luhanska oblast), where intense hostilities have been ongoing has been delayed, and many reports are still pending corroboration. Moreover, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), as of 12 April, almost 96,000 people in 30 settlements across eastern oblasts were without electricity, while water supplies had been completely cut off in Popasna, Rubizhne and Sievierodonetsk (Luhanska oblast).
On 14 April, evacuation buses reportedly came under fire near Borova (Kharkivska oblast). According to the spokesperson of the Oblast Prosecutor’s Office, seven civilians were allegedly killed and another 27 injured.
Southern Ukraine. IMPACT Initiatives conducted rapid needs assessments (RNA) in Ukraine’s southern oblasts, which was published on 14 April. The RNA concludes in part that security concerns were reported across all settlements as the main reason for displacement, followed by damages to housing, lack of housing and socioeconomic reasons. Settlements, including Mykolaiv and Voznesensk (Mykolaivska oblast), reported damages to shelter since the escalation, in addition to challenges in accessing food and disruptions to financial services. Among all assessed settlements, it was reported that security concerns, access to medication, disruption to children’s well-being, and disruption to transportation and/or fuel supply were concerns affecting people’s everyday lives. Education services were also reportedly disrupted in the following settlements: Novyi Buh and Voznesensk (Mykolaivska oblast) and Chornomorsk (Odeska oblast). Across all measured indicators, access to water supply, utilities, and telecommunications was least reported as a concern. Among all assessed settlements, Mykolaiv and Voznesensk reported continuous difficulties in accessing services across most of the measured indicators.
Northern Ukraine. According to IMPACT Initiatives RNA conducted in Ukraine’s northern oblasts, security concerns were reported across all settlements as the main reason for displacement, followed by damages to housing and socioeconomic reasons. Settlements, including Chernihiv, Irpin (Kyivska oblast), as well as Okhtyrka (Sumska oblast) reported damages to shelters since the escalation, in addition to challenges in accessing food, and lack of access to water and utilities. Among all assessed settlements, it was reported that security concerns, access to medication, disruption to children’s well-being, disruption to transportation and/or fuel supply were among concerns. Education services were also disrupted in almost half of the assessed settlements, including Chernihiv and Nizhyn (Chernihivska oblast), Boryspil, Brovary, Irpin, and Kyiv (Kyivska oblast), Okhtyrka, Shostka, and Sumy (Sumska oblast), Holoby and Volodymyr-Volynskyi (Volynska oblast, northwest) and Malyn (Zhytomyrska oblast, north). In particular, Chernihiv and Irpin reported continuous difficulties in accessing services across the measured indicators.
Displacement. Nearly 11.9 million have been displaced since 24 February, including more than 4.79 million that crossed international borders and 7.1 million displaced internally. Between 13 and 14 April, according to the Ministry for Reintegration of Ukraine, almost 3,000 more people were reportedly evacuated from areas affected by hostilities. That included a relatively lower total of just around 380 people on 13 April, all from Luhanska oblast, when no evacuation routes were agreed on. More than 2,550 civilians were evacuated through the agreed-on routes on 14 April, including 289 people from Mariupol (Donetska oblast), over 2,040 from southeastern Zaporizka oblast and 225 more from eastern Luhanska oblast. Meanwhile, the Russian Federation has reported that more than 820,000 people, including over 150,000 children, have crossed into the Russian Federation from Ukraine since 24 February. At the same time, as of 14 April, UNHCR estimates that 484,000 people have sought refuge in the Russian Federation.

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