7.7 million people displaced in Ukraine, UN aid chief warns, as aid conference raises $6.5 billion


Mr Griffiths addressed the International Donor Conference for Ukraine in Warsaw. Co-organized by Poland and Sweden, in collaboration with the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.

The conference reportedly raised $6.5 billion.

More than 5.7 million people have fled Ukraine’s borders to seek shelter in the two and a half months since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

In a tweet, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said: that in his briefing for the conference he had emphasized the priorities for the millions of refugees and displaced persons, the importance of funding programs, shelter and housing, and protecting the vulnerable.

He also made it clear that planning must start now, for their eventual return home, and solutions to make that happen.

cash injection

David Beasley, head of the World Food Program (WFP), also addressed the conference, following the announcement yesterday by the UN’s emergency food aid agency that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy to scale up money transfers to half a million people across Ukraine.

The agreement with the government will support people displaced by the war and expand the aid already provided to 170,000 people through cash aid.

“This partnership will expand our efforts to support the social protection system that already exists in Ukraine,” said Samir Wanmali, WFP’s deputy emergency coordinator.

Since early April, WFP has transferred nearly $11 million in local currency to more than 170,000 people in Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv and other cities. Those who qualify will receive between $75 and $225 per month, depending on family size.

Cash allows people to buy the items and services they care about most. It is extremely helpful for families with diverse needs in a volatile environment, when they are on the move.

Every dollar a family spends in Ukraine is injected directly into the local economy, WFP said.

Millions Traumatized, Need Help: UN Rights Experts

UN independent human rights experts, along with the coordinator of the international non-governmental group known as the Global Protection Cluster, issued a statement Thursday highlighting the “appalling” humanitarian situation facing millions of people in Ukraine.

“Multiple forms of gender-based violence are reported, such as sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual violence, including conflict-related sexual violence. Women and girls on the run – at border crossing points or transit and collective centers and in air raid shelters – experience a particularly high insecurity and risk of violence, including human trafficking,” they said.

“Numerous families have been separated during displacement, and unaccompanied and separated children are particularly vulnerable to the risks of human trafficking, violence, abuse and exploitation.”

They also expressed deep concern about the plight of the elderly and people with disabilities in the war zone.

“Many of them are still in conflict zones due to mobility restrictions or reliance on others for care, and face challenges in accessing air raid shelters or safe areas. We are particularly concerned about those persons with disabilities, including children, who live in facilities for persons with disabilities and who face barriers on an equal basis with others to access humanitarian aid and evacuation.”

Support to save lives

The independent experts called on the international community and donors to provide sustained and increased support for the response to internal displacement and the Ukraine Flash Appeal, and other critical efforts to protect the human rights of all citizens remaining in Ukraine.

“We urge the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to protect civilians,” the statement said.

“We reiterate our call for responsibility for the heinous crimes that have already been documented and our support for the initiatives taken to investigate these allegations.”

UN Special Rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council. They work on a voluntary basis, are not UN personnel and are not paid for their work.

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