4 December 2017 – Today, the United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which aims to provide critical humanitarian assistance and protection to 2.3 million people in need throughout 2018.

As Ukraine enters its fourth year of conflict, many of the people affected have exhausted their resources and are forced to make impossible choices to survive. Millions in eastern Ukraine continue living at daily risk of shelling and intensive fighting. Up to one million crossings are recorded each month through the ‘contact line’, so people can access basic services, pensions, social benefits and visit relatives.

At the launch, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Neal Walker, stressed that “the people of eastern Ukraine continue suffering the consequences of the ongoing conflict. While Ukraine may no longer be front page news, people continue to need our help, so today I call on the international community to show its solidarity by supporting this important appeal”.

Of the 4.4 million people affected by the conflict, some 3.4 million people are in a dire humanitarian situation requiring assistance and protection. Of those in need, 32 international and 16 national agencies aim to assist 2.3 million civilians considered most vulnerable, with a particular focus on the elderly, women and children. US$187 million is urgently needed to reach them with critical humanitarian assistance and protection support.

The humanitarian organisations appeal to the international community for immediate contributions to this HRP, as without them the UN and NGOs will be unable to support vulnerable communities during the harsh winter months. In his closing remarks, Mr. Walker said there was no humanitarian solution to the conflict and reiterated that “the humanitarian situation in Ukraine will continue until such a time there is a definitive ceasefire that would allow people to rebuild their lives”.

The Humanitarian Coordinator welcomes the positive steps taken by the Government of Ukraine, particularly the Ministry for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs (MTOT), to develop a framework to provide durable solutions for IDPs and simplify the requirements for humanitarian operations for people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

Minister for the MTOT, Mr. Vadym Chernysh noted that the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is extremely complex due to the protracted conflict. “People need shelter, warm clothes, potable water, as well as psychological assistance and educational services”, stressed Mr. Chernysh. The Minister also highlighted that the MTOT supports the activities included in the HRP to ensure that Ukrainians feel protected and have everything they need. “We are thankful to our friends – international and donor organizations, which continue to support Ukraine every year, and provide assistance to millions of people in need”, concluded Mr. Chernysh.