Ukraine: humanitarian and medical needs increase as hostilities in Kharkiv increase

“Relentless aerial attacks continue, prolonging and exacerbating an already dire situation,” the UN refugee agency said.UNHCR), spokesperson Shabia Mantoo. “More than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion, frequent shelling and attacks continue to claim lives and destroy homes and critical infrastructure across the country.”

Ms. Mantoo noted that over the past week, more than 10,300 people were evacuated from their villages in the Kharkiv region border area by Ukrainian authorities with the help of volunteers and humanitarian organizations.

The majority of evacuees are “extremely vulnerable,” including the elderly and people with disabilities or poor mobility, who were previously unable to leave their homes.

Russia’s military advances

According to the United Nations office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs, OCHAMore than 16,000 people are estimated to have fled the worst-affected localities in the Kharkiv region since May 10 amid reports of significant advances by Russian forces.

Ms. Mantoo warned that inside Kharkiv – Ukraine’s second-largest city, where some 200,000 people are internally displaced – conditions “could become even more difficult if ground attacks and The relentless work continues.” “This could force many people to leave Kharkiv for safety and survival, seeking protection elsewhere.”

The UNHCR spokesperson highlighted the fact that attacks on energy infrastructure were “especially severe” in Kharkiv, where energy supplies were “below standard capacity” and households The family lacks electricity.

civil fees

Meanwhile, OCHA reported that the past three days had seen daily attacks in the city of Kharkiv resulting in “many civilian casualties including children and a pregnant woman,” citing local authorities, “as well like an ambulance.” fight and a healthcare worker was injured when two strikes were said to have consecutively impacted the same location.”

Speaking from Kiev, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Ukraine Dr. Jarno Habicht speak that since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, “an average of 200 ambulances per year have been damaged or destroyed in shelling attacks.”

“It is a huge loss, depriving the Ukrainian people of urgent care,” he emphasized.

20,000 amputations

Overall, WHO has recorded more than 1,700 health attacks in the country since February 2022, Dr. Habicht said.

The UN health agency representative added that about 10 million people in the country are likely to suffer from mental health problems, while more than 20,000 amputations have been performed since began the full-scale invasion of Russia – “two zones”. [which] needs support from many humanitarian and development partners and long-term”.

While increased hostilities in the Kharkiv region have prompted an “exponential” increase in humanitarian needs, Dr. Habicht also emphasized the need to “think medium-term to be ready for the coming winter next”.

Ukraine's health system is devastated by war.

Ukraine’s health system is devastated by war.

To ensure Ukraine’s healthcare system can “continue to function amid prolonged adversity,” Dr. Habicht said, WHO has begun installing “modular heating devices” in hospitals, including in Chernihiv and Odesa in the coming days and weeks.

However, meeting immediate and medium-term needs and preparing for winter is a challenge as humanitarian funding to Ukraine has decreased compared to the past two years.

According to OCHA, the United Nations’ $3.1 billion Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan for the country by 2024 is only 23% funded. Ms. Mantoo said the UNHCR response in Ukraine and neighboring refugee-hosting countries was only 16% funded, which near the middle of the year was “very poor.”


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