A woman and child hold hands as they walk in front of a damaged residential building in Ukraine

700,000 people flee bombed cities

Since Feb. 24, cities across Ukraine have been the target of devastating weapons strikes. Hundreds of thousands are fleeing their homes.

Bombing and shelling have continued throughout the Ukraine for seven days, destroying civilian infrastructure, including roads, homes, and public service buildings. While exact numbers are still uncertain, scores of people have been injured and many have been killed. It is well documented that when used in populated areas, 90% of the victims of explosive weapons are civilians. Reports also mention the recent use of cluster munitions, a weapon that is banned by the Oslo Treaty.

At least 12 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian aid. As bombing and shelling intensify, these numbers will rise at an alarming rate.

Massive displacement underway

Bombing and shelling has caused mass displacement, forcing more than 700,000 people, mostly women and children, to flee their homes in search of safety. Around 450,000 people have fled to Poland alone, while tens of thousands are relocating to Romania, Moldova and Slovakia. Enduring freezing temperatures, families are waiting as long as 60 hours to cross borders in hopes of leaving Ukraine.

For those unable or afraid to travel, families are living underground in crowded bomb shelters without access to basic needs such as food or personal hygiene supplies. Markets throughout Kyiv have quickly run out of supplies, and cash is no longer circulating, making it impossible to purchase any goods.

Around 30% of Ukraine’s population is over the age of 60, with high rates of chronic illnesses, and 13% of people live with disabilities. These individuals no longer have access to essential medications or services to support their physical health, and often face greater difficulty relocating.

Assessing humanitarian needs

Humanity & Inclusion has deployed two teams to conduct an exploratory mission in Ukraine and its surrounding countries. These teams are assessing the situation and identifying needs to determine if and how Humanity & Inclusion can support the people of Ukraine.

The evaluation will determine specific needs of populations facing extreme vulnerability such as injured individuals, people with disabilities, and people with illnesses. Potential responses could include support for post-surgical care, distribution of medical equipment, and mental health support. Assessments will also cover needs for shelter, basic necessities, sanitation and hygiene items, rehabilitation, armed violence reduction, logistics support and inclusive measures.

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