The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will scale up its emergency operation in eastern Ukraine to provide 500,000 conflict-affected people in the region with food assistance until the end of the year.
Saying that it urgently needs for $30.3 million to continue providing aid through December 2015, WFP noted that food distributions in the Donestsk and Luhansk regions or oblasts have almost tripled the number of people the UN agency has been assisting since November 2014.
With its current expansion of aid, WFP will carry out food distributions in the three additional regions of Kharkivska, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya.
“The ongoing conflict has taken its toll on tens of thousands of people who are in desperate need of help,” said WFP Head of Office in Ukraine, Giancarlo Stopponi. “They are either trapped by the conflict or have fled their homes and are now living in difficult conditions.”
In the new operation phase, WFP will be supporting people in schools, orphanages, hospitals and other institutions in non-government controlled areas. It will also provide supplementary food to prevent and combat malnutrition among children under age two.
Mr. Stopponi stressed: “We are doing everything we can to deliver food assistance to as many people as possible and are particularly concerned about small children, who are most at risk.”
WFP will continue to provide cash and voucher transfers to internally displaced people in government-controlled locations, and food rations to those in non-government controlled areas.
It is estimated that more than 1.3 million people have been displaced in Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis last year.