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UN sounds alarm on dwindling Ukraine humanitarian aid amid growing needs

UN warns humanitarian assistance to Ukraine declining despite rising needs more than two years after Russia’s invasion, leaving millions displaced and vulnerable populations struggling.
un sounds alarm dwindling ukraine humanitarian aid amid growing needs ukraine's emergency service workers evacuating elderly woman from northern kharkiv oblast dsns evacuates refugee
Ukraine’s Emergency Service workers evacuating an elderly woman from northern Kharkiv Oblast. Photo: DSNS Kharkiv Oblast
UN sounds alarm on dwindling Ukraine humanitarian aid amid growing needs

Humanitarian assistance to Ukraine is decreasing even as the country’s needs escalate more than two years after the Russian invasion began, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has warned.

In an interview with AFP, UNHCR representative in Ukraine Karolina Lindholm Billing said the situation is worsening, with around 4 million people already displaced, including “some very, very vulnerable people.” She cautioned that “much less resources for humanitarian assistance” are available as needs grow as the all-out war drags on.

The UNHCR appeal and the UN’s 2024 humanitarian plan for Ukraine, amounting to $3.1 billion, were only around 15% funded in the first quarter of 2024. This compares to around 30% funding received during the same period last year.

As the “ultra marathon” conflict drags on, Lindholm Billing said cash assistance, in-kind aid, accommodation help, house repairs and psychosocial support have become “less frequent and less predictable.”

The impact is severe in areas like northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast, where the ongoing Russian offensive has left countless civilians without basics like electricity and water. Since May 10, around 10,300 people have been evacuated from border areas as Russian troops pushed a new ground assault.

She warned that if displacement numbers keep rising, receiving and helping them would be an enormous logistical challenge.

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