Ukraine Conflict: Addressing Acute Needs, Protecting Displaced Populations and Maintaining Food Systems

Post date Friday, 15 April, 2022 - 14:56
Document Type Manual/Guideline
Sources WFP

The unprecedented nature of the crisis in Ukraine challenges traditional approaches to humanitarian response and will require WFP and its partners to deploy solutions that build on the existing social protection systems, institutional capacities and market infrastructure of a highly digitized middle-income country in order to rapidly scale up assistance to meet the needs of the 6 million displaced and conflict-affected people facing acute levels of food insecurity. 

Since the conflict began on 24 February, almost a quarter of the country’s estimated population of 44 million are displaced. Over 4 million have fled the country as refugees. 7.1 million are estimated to be internally displaced. This represents over a quarter of the Ukrainian population, a level of displacement that was only witnessed in Syria after a decade of conflict. The intense military escalation has resulted in loss of life, injuries and mass movement of civilian populations throughout the country and across borders, as well as in the severe destruction of civilian infrastructure and residential housing.

Hard to reach populations in conflict-affected urban centers in the north, east and south of Ukraine continue to have most serious needs, with residents facing critical shortages of food, water, medicine, and electricity. Many people are unable to seek safe haven through humanitarian corridors or reside in areas that have been by conflict without access to essential services or markets. The delivery of immediate life-saving food assistance for populations in encircled, partially encircled and recently devastated cities is of paramount importance. 

Conflict-affected populations are starting to deploy coping strategies, such as cutting down on meals or limiting portion sizes. Almost half of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) are worried about not having enough to eat in coming days, and 1 on 3 reported that they ate less than two meals per day. 

Exceptional efforts are being undertaken to ensure humanitarian assistance is targeted to the most vulnerable populations in line with humanitarian principles and regardless of ethnicity or political affiliation, with a focus on providing critical support to women, children, older and disabled people directly affected by the current conflict. 

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