GENEVA – Twelve months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 13 million people remain uprooted from their homes, including nearly 8 million refugees across Europe and more than 5 million internally displaced people within Ukraine. Their prospects for return in the near future, however, are clouded by continued hostilities, insecurity and destruction in their home regions, according to two new reports released today by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
“The human suffering and hardship that has been caused by the war is beyond comprehension. With a third of Ukraine’s population forced to flee their homes, the situation remains unpredictable. We must continue to respond to the needs of the displaced and ensure their safety until they can return home,” said Pascale Moreau, UNHCR’s Regional Director for Europe.
To understand the plight of the displaced and better channel assistance, UNHCR commissioned its third round of intention surveys*, interviewing thousands uprooted by the war. Titled “Lives on Hold”, the latest reports - one focusing on refugees, and another on IDPs - provide insights into the experiences of displaced Ukrainians a year on, as well as their intentions and the factors influencing their choices.
Among the key findings from the two reports are:
Based on these and other findings, UNHCR makes a number of recommendations in the report. It is critical to ensure that refugees are continually assisted to make free and informed decisions on their future, and that host countries and local communities are supported so refugees can access their rights, services and decent work.
Supporting displaced populations within Ukraine is also a key priority. Spontaneous returnees should be assisted through a combination of humanitarian, recovery, development and private sector programmes, paving the way for economic revival, recovery and reconstruction.
Last week, UNHCR launched its Ukraine Situation Supplementary Appeal, outlining the response plan and financial requirements for 2023. The total needs amount to $1.1 billion – $602.5 million inside Ukraine and $517 million in refugee host countries in Europe. UNHCR continues to urge the international community to support Ukraine’s displaced population – inside and outside the country.
The two reports are available here:
*Lives on Hold: Intentions and Perspectives of Refugees from Ukraine is the third Ukraine refugee intention survey of its kind commissioned by UNHCR since the beginning of the war. The study is based on surveys with some 3,900 refugees from Ukraine hosted in Europe in December 2022 and January 2023.
Lives on Hold: Intentions and Perspectives of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine, is the first Ukraine IDP intention survey UNHCR has commissioned since the beginning of the war and is based on 2,900 surveys with internally displaced people within Ukraine, in December 2022.
Originally reported by UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency