Amid critical humanitarian needs in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations migration agency on Tuesday launched a $38 million funding appeal to reach more than 340,000 people with assistance this year – a sharp increase over the number reached to date.
“We note that the 340,000 people in critical need this year is an increase on the 215,000 the organization has assisted over the four years since the start of the conflict,” Joel Millman, a spokesperson for the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), said at a regular media briefing in Geneva.
“Acute humanitarian needs persist, these include the basics: food, healthcare and water, and of course, employment,” he added.
Latest IOM data indicates that more than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting, over 200,000 injured, and over 1.4 million displaced from their homes. Food security has also significantly worsened and so has the water, health and sanitation situation.
Nearly four years of ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine has had a significant impact on all aspects of life for the communities residing in the region and severely reduced their coping capacities.
Against the backdrop of the protracted crisis, 2018 will be a critical year for the transition from humanitarian assistance to longer-term recovery effort, IOM said.
“Bridging the gap between humanitarian and development interventions is critical to simultaneously address the urgent and longer-term needs of conflict affected communities,” it urged.