The crisis has internally displaced over 8 million people in Ukraine.
Since February 24, more than 6.5 million people from Ukraine have crossed international borders into neighboring countries including Poland and Moldova.
Approximately 13 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave due to heightened security risks.
UNHCR is concerned about the crisis situation in Ukraine that escalated on February 24, 2022 following the Russian Federation’s military action in the country. The crisis has displaced over 8 million people inside the country so far. Over 6.5 million people from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries in the region including Poland, Hungary, Moldova and others.
As the crisis continues to develop, humanitarian needs are multiplying and spreading by the hour. Of the 18 million people in Ukraine who will be impacted by the ongoing war, 12 million are expected to need humanitarian assistance. Prior to this recent crisis, nearly 3 million people were already in need of humanitarian aid across Ukraine, including over 850,000 internally displaced people.
Particularly vulnerable groups include older people and people with disabilities who may be unable to flee from high-risk areas. Women and children, who make up 90% of people fleeing the crisis, are at risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. UNHCR is on the ground ensuring basic and urgent needs are met and scaling up protection services, such as psychosocial support, counseling and identification of particularly vulnerable groups like unaccompanied minors.
“In addition to the grave situation inside Ukraine,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said at a briefing for the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine, “hundreds of thousands are seeking refuge in neighboring countries. They need safety and protection, first and foremost, but also shelter, food, hygiene and other support; and they need it urgently.”
The UNHCR needs help providing humanitarian aid to those from Ukraine. Winter assistance is essential in keeping displaced people healthy and safe during the winter months.
UNHCR has been working in Ukraine since 1994, alongside local authorities, partners and community organizations to deliver protection and humanitarian assistance to people in need and remains on the ground to help now. UNHCR has stockpiles of aid, cash and other means to help people forced to flee and provided that humanitarian access and safety is granted, UNHCR staff are ready to deliver.
As the crisis develops, UNHCR and its partners are on the ground providing crucial humanitarian assistance and protection. In Ukraine, UNHCR is distributing emergency supply kits with items like thermal blankets and water cans. UNHCR is also helping to set up transit centers to assess the needs of newly displaced people and provide temporary shelter. The most vulnerable families are receiving cash assistance to address urgent needs.
While the full impact of the crisis is not yet clear, the number of people fleeing is rising and there is large-scale displacement in and out of the country. UNHCR has reinforced its operations in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, sending more resources, staff and stockpiles. UNHCR is working with national authorities to identify and support people forced to flee within Ukraine and scaling up response in neighboring countries currently receiving refugees.
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Poles offer a warm welcome to Ukrainians forced to flee across the border.