At a briefing for journalists, UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric, citing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, said that to date, approximately 1.9 million Ukrainians have become internally displaced persons and more than 2.3 million have crossed the country’s western borders in search of asylum and protection.
UNICEF has so far delivered six trucks with nearly 70 tonnes of supplies, including personal protective equipment and medical, surgical and obstetric kits, to Ukraine. All the material will be delivered to 22 hospitals in five different areas of Ukraine affected by the war, to help 20,000 children and mothers.
Meanwhile, the UNHCR said that as of March 9, it had delivered 85 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid to the reception and transit centres in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine, which hosts people who have fled of hostilities further east.
For its part, the World Food Program (WFP) has expressed deep concern about the impact of the conflict on the ability of Ukrainians to feed themselves, especially families trapped in besieged areas. The UN agency plans to assist up to 3.1 million people. Its priority is to supply the cities of Ukraine with bulk food, bread and food rations.
With food aid shipments arriving every day, WFP is in a race against time to stockpile food in areas where fighting is expected to break out.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that the next few weeks will be critical, as farmers will have to prepare land for planting vegetables in mid-March. It pointed out that farmers must begin to prepare the land for planting wheat, barley, corn and sunflowers. The FAO stressed that everything must be done to protect crops and livestock.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it has so far delivered 81 metric tonnes of health supplies and is establishing a reserve for health centres across Ukraine. The WHO has also released $10.2 million from the Contingency Fund and has deployed staff to care for the refugees.
Despite all this help provided by the UN in collaboration with organisations operating inside and outside Ukraine, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate at an “alarming rate,” the UN spokesman said.
“So far, together with our partners, we have provided some form of humanitarian aid to more than 5,00,000 people in Ukraine, including life-saving food, shelter, blankets and medical supplies. If humanitarian access is guaranteed, we are willing to reach much higher numbers given the scope and scale of the humanitarian operations that are currently being deployed,” added Stephane Dujarric.
So far, the Ukraine 2022 flash appeal has received $109 million, which is 9.6% of the appeal launched by the Secretary-General on March 1 for $1.1 billion over a three-month period for the humanitarian response inside Ukraine.