Situation overview: An assessment mission to Donetsk conducted by UNHCR between 19-22 February reconfirmed huge humanitarian needs. Scale-up of humanitarian presence in the east is urgently required. People are living in basements, bomb shelters or under the rubble of their houses or apartment buildings. In particular they lack food, medicine and heating.
Protection concerns: Freedom of movement is an issue and civilians are often trapped in the conflict zone. Lack of available and affordable transport and insecurity along exit routes, as well as administrative barriers prevent them from reaching safety and people feel abandoned.
Legislation update: Amendments to the IDP law currently under discussion would improve access to rights for IDPs. If implemented the IDP definition would be extended to include stateless individuals and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence; documentation requirements for IDP registration would be partially relaxed; registration of unaccompanied minors would be made easier as would registration for unemployment benefits.
Assistance provided: One of the first NFI deliveries to two areas in Luhansk.
UNHCR distributed assistance to 11,500 people in Donetsk region where the majority of the displaced population, including many of those coming from Debaltseve who fled ongoing fighting. A joint UN convoy delivered humanitarian aid to Donetsk city on 19 February despite shelling