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UN: Humanitarian aid for Ukraine falling but needed now more than ever

by Chris York May 21, 2024 10:11 AM 2 min read
Mariya comforts her daughter Sophia (9) after evacuating from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, May 8, 2022. (Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Humanitarian aid for Ukraine is falling as its need only increases, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR warned on May 20.

In an interview with AFP, Karolina Lindholm Billing, the UNHCR's representative in Ukraine, said there are 4 million displaced people in the country, including "some very, very vulnerable people."

Billing said the situation was only worsening as Russia's full-scale invasion drags into its third year, but funding for international humanitarian aid was slowing down.

The U.N. has a humanitarian plan for Ukraine that requires $3.1 billion this year, including $599 million for the UNHCR.

So far in 2024, both have received only 15% of the required funding. Similar plans for 2023 were 30% at the same time last year, she said.

"It is the most vulnerable (that) will bear the brunt of that reduced funding and support," Billing said.

Countries have continued to pledge humanitarian aid packages to Ukraine, most recently Denmark.

The Danish Foreign Ministry announced on May 7 a new 250 million kroner ($33.2 million) package and said about 40% of Ukraine's population is in need of humanitarian aid, citing U.N. data.

"The humanitarian situation in Ukraine is extremely serious," said Dan Jorgensen, the Danish development cooperation minister.

"Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced, thousands of homes have been destroyed, hospitals have been bombed, and basic necessities such as water, heating, and electricity are scarce resources for many Ukrainians."

Kharkiv Oblast official: Ukraine controls around 60% of Vovchansk
Ukrainian forces control about 60% of the town of Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast amid continuous Russian assaults, Roman Semenukha, deputy governor, said on national television on May 20.
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