The risk of war in Ukraine raises fears of a “massive” population displacement

MADRID, Feb. 3 (Royals Blue) –

Thousands of people in Ukraine live in expectation of what may happen in the political and military fields during these days, fearful of a possible war that threatens to provoke a new wave of “massive” displacement, as the organizations that work on the ground.

In its response plan for 2022, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that 2.9 million people will need help this year. Within this group are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, pushed out of their homes by a conflict that dates back to 2014 and that has no sign of a solution in the short term.

Some two million people live within a radius of 20 kilometers around the contact line, the de facto border that separates the territories controlled by the Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. They would theoretically be the most exposed to a resurgence of violence in this area.

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The secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Jan Egeland, warned in a statement that “the lives and safety of millions of people in eastern Ukraine hang in the balance” waiting for some kind of progress in the political arena and the specter of war will once again be receded.

“The human suffering of a new conflict would have no limits. It would cause civilian casualties and massive displacement and would increase humanitarian needs,” said Egeland, who was visiting Ukraine precisely this week.

The secretary of the NRC has stated that there are already more than 850,000 internally displaced persons in the former Soviet republic and the effects of an escalation of the conflict on basic services and supplies are feared. The mobility of the population would also be affected, according to Natalia, a grandmother who lives near the combat front.

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“I haven’t seen my daughter or granddaughter for two years because the crossings between the divided communities of Lugansk and Donetsk are almost closed due to the conflict and COVID-19. Now we risk making our desperate situation even worse,” he said. regretted. Natalia calls for “peace and freedom of movement.”

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