Ukraine and affected countries – Emergency Appeal n° MGR65002, Operation Update Report n° 2 – Ukraine



Description of the emergency

More than 5.6 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since Russian troops entered Ukraine on February 24. Most of those fleeing Ukraine entered immediate neighboring countries, mainly Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova (see map below for estimated numbers). The number of people moving to neighboring countries continues to be much lower than at the start of the conflict. At the same time, tens of thousands of people are reportedly returning to Ukraine every day. The IFRC closely monitors the flow of people to anticipate needs and situations, which change daily.

An additional 7.7 million people are estimated to be internally displaced in Ukraine, around half of whom have fled to western Ukraine. Critical infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, including more than 1,071 educational institutions and 150 health facilities. Pharmacies are closed and drug stocks are low, leaving people without access to health care and life-saving drugs. Hundreds of thousands of people live without access to basics such as water, food and electricity.

Severity of humanitarian conditions

Significant damage to infrastructure in Ukraine. Military activity has impacted crucial supply chains and restricted access to vital services and goods in many parts of Ukraine, with a heavier impact on the central and eastern parts of the country and damage sporadic in the western part, which to date has been less affected by the hostilities. Direct damage to infrastructure is estimated at more than CHF 790 billion.

Critical medical supplies are becoming increasingly scarce in conflict-affected areas, including medicine and oxygen, putting increasing pressure on an already weak health system. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the healthcare system in Ukraine has been severely disrupted, with around 300 healthcare facilities located in areas affected by hostilities and 1,000 healthcare facilities in modified control areas.

Shortage of agricultural labor and inputs, destruction of food system assets and infrastructure, and reduced access to arable land will likely limit domestic production and food availability in Ukrainian markets in the coming months . Some rural households are likely to have above average levels of food stocks and/or financial resources, which will provide some buffer when livelihoods and incomes are disrupted by conflict. However, if the war continues and spreads, there will be increased pressure until food for the next harvest is available in the summer, assuming planting can take place.

1.4 million people are currently without running water in eastern Ukraine. Infrastructure damage and power outages linked to the hostilities put an additional 4.6 million people across Ukraine at risk of losing access to running water.

Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country, which means that people crossing the borders are mainly women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other groups facing different vulnerabilities and risks. In times of conflict, there are increased risks of conflict-related sexual violence, trafficking for sexual exploitation, sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable groups, as well as pre-existing and heightened risks of violence related to shift.

The conflict in Ukraine is also triggering a three-dimensional crisis in the food, energy and financial markets. Soaring commodity prices, rising energy prices and supply shortages are increasing pressure on households around the world in the poorest countries, which could plunge up to 323 million people in acute levels of food insecurity. The Russian Federation and Ukraine produce around 30% of the world’s wheat and barley, a fifth of its corn and more than half of its sunflower oil. In addition, the Russian Federation is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest oil exporter. Belarus and the Russian Federation also export about a fifth of the world’s fertilizers. Preliminary analysis suggests that as many as 1.7 billion people in 107 economies are exposed to at least one of the three risks, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The capacities of neighboring countries to provide safe, long-term shelter are being stretched a month into the conflict. In Poland, where almost half of all arrivals from Ukraine have arrived, housing is mainly provided by citizens in their private homes. But there are growing fears among local officials in Poland that goodwill towards refugees/displaced people is beginning to wane and that temporary accommodation capacities are uncertain.

Estimates suggest that half of those who fled Ukraine are children. While some educational activities for displaced children continue, the capacities of neighboring countries to integrate children into the formal education system are varied and language skills pose great challenges. The particular nature of this crisis, where long-term plans and the needs of the affected population are constantly changing, access to education and continuity for children will remain complex.

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