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OCHA asks international community for $4.2 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday appealed to the international community to provide Ukraine with 4.2 billion euros in humanitarian aid to assist 17.7 million people in need.

“Intense hostilities since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 have left at least 17.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, an increase of some 2 million people compared to April,” the agency said in a statement, detailing that the final figure exceeds 4.2 billion euros.

For that reason, OCHA’s humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, has appealed to the international community to “continue to support life-saving operations in Ukraine, as the war continues to cause an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the country.”

The appeal has come at a time when the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations present in the country have revised the Flash Humanitarian Appeal to respond to the worsening situation in the country.

The financial request has increased from €2.2 billion to €4.2 billion. This money is needed, according to OCHA, to ensure that humanitarian workers in the country have the necessary funding and resources to continue providing critical assistance and protection services to people across Ukraine until December 2022.

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“Over the past five months, we have seen local, national and international humanitarian organizations join forces across Ukraine to increase the scale and scope of operations and provide assistance to more than 11 million people. The reality is that there are more people in need of help,” Brown detailed.

The organization’s Ukraine coordinator explained that at least 17.7 million people–more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population–will need humanitarian assistance in the coming months.

“This is an increase of about two million more than we had estimated during the last Flash Appeal review in April. And we fear that the situation may even worsen during the winter, as more people are likely to move from areas where they cannot access gas, fuel or electricity to heat their homes,” he added.

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The organization notes that the destruction of thousands of homes and the lack of access to fuel, gas or electricity due to the destruction of infrastructure could become “a matter of life and death” if people are unable to heat their homes.

This budget increase in humanitarian aid includes cash assistance to 6.3 million Ukrainians through the end of the year. During the first five months of the war, at least 2.3 million Ukrainians have received cash aid to ensure that they could meet their vital needs.

The humanitarian coordinator has stressed that, in addition to funding, aid groups in Ukraine will need safe and unimpeded access to all war-affected areas.

“Since the war began, access has been extremely difficult in areas outside the control of the Ukrainian Government. I call on the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and facilitate the humanitarian response to ensure that we can support all people in desperate need of assistance, no matter where they live,” he added.

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