Following the re-commitment to ceasefire on 29 December 2018, the brief respite from hostilities was regrettably short lived. An uptick of fighting was reported after the Orthodox Christmas in mid-January, marked by an alarming incident of shelling, involving civilian workers. On 10 January, three staff of the water utility company “Voda Donbasu”, while on duty, were injured after their vehicle came under fire. Education facilities were also not spared. One school in Zolote-5 (Luhanska oblast, NGCA) attended by over 100 children was shelled four times in a period of six weeks in 2019, once during school hours. Although no children were injured or killed, the school has been temporarily closed for some time. These incidents are a reminder of how the lives of civilians, and particularly children are put at risk in the most insecure areas along the contact line. Expressing her concerns about the lethal risks civilians face every day, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) issued a statement calling for a greater protection of both civilians and critical civilian infrastructure in eastern Ukraine in compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). On a positive note, the long-anticipated Mine Action Law, came into force on 25 January. It introduces a legal basis, principles and a number of new institutions to be specialized in mine action exclusively. This is a milestone achievement, considering that Ukraine previously did not have a general legal framework for mine action. On 31 January, the RC/HC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs, launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) developed as part of a broader two-year strategy. The 2019 HRP seeks funding support of $162 million to assist 2.3 million people affected due to the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.