Ukraine’s already existing humanitarian crisis


Amid the ongoing Russian military build-up and apparently faltering diplomatic efforts to prevent an invasion of Ukraine, one thing is clear: any incursion will worsen the dire humanitarian situation in the country. The latest overview from the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, published Feb. 11, makes for sobering reading: 2.9 million in need, 13% children. This includes almost 300,000 people still displaced by an eight-year war that has claimed more than 13,000 lives. Particularly affected are the elderly in the separatist-occupied, Russian-backed east. Since March 2020, when COVID-19 effectively rendered the so-called “contact line” impassable, they’ve been unable to cross to access their pensions and social services. On Feb. 8, eight trucks delivered the latest crossline international aid—COVID-19 prevention equipment, medicines, and construction materials. But how long these humanitarian convoys will be able to continue remains to be seen.

From The New Humanitarian, Feb. 11

Photo: Man in Krasnogorovka, Donetsk oblast, chops doors and window frames for firewood.
Credit: The New Humanitarian