Ukraine: Humanitarian Needs Overview 2016 (November 2015) [EN/UK]

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The conflict that started in eastern Ukraine in April 2014 and intensified towards early 2015 resulted in significant human loss, extensive suffering and significant civilian displacement. Despite the signing of Minsk II Agreements in February 2015, insecurity continued in several locations along the ‘contact line’ between Government forces and armed groups. The September 2015 renewed ceasefire agreed by parties to the conflict to enable the start of the school year has been largely holding and marked a significant reduction in clashes and shelling, bringing partial relief for people who had been living under the threat of violence for many months. Nonetheless, the conflict is yet to be resolved and continues to have a disproportionate impact on civilians living in affected areas.
Humanitarian organizations estimate that, as of October 2015, at least 3.7 million people have been affected in Ukraine both directly and indirectly, and 3.1 million of them need humanitarian assistance. The reduced number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in comparison to the estimates of HRP 2015 is a result of a more accurate reflection of assessments and population data analysis.


1. Protection

The conflict is having a disproportionate impact on civilians who are paying the highest price with lives lost, major displacement and enormous suffering endured. Armed clashes and indiscriminate shelling resulted in civilian deaths and injuries; massive displacement; significant damage and destruction of housing, property and infrastructure hampering access to water, health and social services.
People’s right to freedom of movement has been of significant concern due to the presence of armed actors and security constrains. While the level of violence has reduced, civilians continue to lose lives due to UXO and mine contamination spread across civilian settlements, agricultural fields, roads and bridges. Stretched resources and burden on communities hosting IDPs lead to social tension.

2. Access

Since the end of 2014 access to commercial supplies of food and medicines, as well as social services and welfare payments has been suspended for civilians living in the areas along the ‘contact line’ and beyond Government control. A number of basic infrastructure facilities have been damaged or destroyed, further hindering access of civilians to basic services. At the same time, bureaucratic impediments by parties to the conflict have been severely curtailing humanitarian access.

3. Emergency Water, Food, Health & Shelter

Time-critical humanitarian needs of conflict-affected population in water, food, health and shelter continue to be acute, especially for those living close to the ‘contact line’. Security concerns for population remain and the situation is of special concern as the population in conflict-affected areas braces for the second winter when the temperature can drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

4. Access To Critical Basic Services, Markets

Ukraine’s capacity to provide basic services exists, this has been put at severe strain by the conflict. Critical infrastructure such as water, gas, electricity and heating, which are highly interdependent and serve both sides of the ‘contact line’, are severely weakened and suffered damages.
Markets and financial services are disrupted, especially in areas beyond Government control. Complementary humanitarian and longer term actions are urgently required to avoid the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
The basis for rehabilitation of infrastructure, human capacity and economic, social and legal resources need to be laid down today

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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