As the armed conflict enters its seventh year, children, young people and the elderly remain the most vulnerable groups in eastern Ukraine, in both government (GCA) and non-government (NGCA) controlled areas. The protracted conflict continues to take a heavy toll on civilians: During January-March of 2020, four civilians were killed and 32 injured, including due to mines. Daily ceasefire violations, shelling and explosions have damaged scores of homes and social infrastructure.
Armed attacks on critical infrastructure such as water and services across the Line of Contact (LoC) continued to severely limit access to basic services, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents. During the reporting period, 14 incidents affecting water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH) facilities were recorded, while the Education Cluster reported at least 12 attacks on education facilities, including a case of child injury in one school.
The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine brought additional challenges to the region, which has a large elderly population and weak healthcare services. The quarantine measures introduced by the authorities on both sides of the LoC have severely restricted humanitarian access for the UN and partners to deliver critically needed aid. This situation has also created significant restrictions in the freedom of movement by civilians across the LoC. As schools and workplaces largely remain closed, increased cases of violence against women and children are being reported by UNICEF partners.