KYIV, Ukraine, 03 February 2017 (UNHCR). On Thursday, 2 February, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, delivered 40 metric tons of humanitarian assistance to the town of Avdiivka. In addition to a highly demanded tarpaulin for emergency repairs, the humanitarian cargo contained supplies for 2,000 persons, including 2,000 blankets, 500 bedding and towel sets, jerry cans, buckets and winter clothing. On Thursday afternoon, UNHCR teams jointly with local authorities and Donetsk Governor Pavlo Zhebrivskiy started direct deliveries in safe areas in the town. Priority was given to the most vulnerable individuals and households, who suffered from resumed fighting.
Further distributions will be facilitated by staff from Proliska and Vozdrozhdenie NGOs and volunteers. Since outbreak of violence last week, these UNHCR partner organizations provided 60 families with plastic sheeting to cover damaged roofs and windows.
Intensified shelling leads to more destruction and growing protection and emergency shelter needs in this frontline location. Some 52 private houses were damaged in Avdiivka on Thursday night only. The UNHCR assistance will allow to provide the reinforced plastic sheeting for 300 households if the situation further deteriorates. UNHCR protection staff and partners are as well on the ground, to ensure persons have access to information, protect by presence, and undertake referrals.
UNHCR also continues to monitor the situation and needs of persons evacuated from Avdiivka. As of yesterday, some 200 people were relocated, including 34 unaccompanied children.
On Wednesday, UNHCR also sent a truck to the town of Sviatohirsk with blankets, bedding sets, winter jackets and other essentials to cover needs of up to 500 people. UNHCR partners distributed assistance to the first group of children and their parents who arrived on Wednesday. While local authorities ensured free accommodation and meals, UNHCR partners continue to provide legal, information and psychological assistance to displaced from Avdiivka.