UN Appeals for $4.2 Billion to Aid War-Torn Ukraine and Refugees

    A local resident removes debris at the site where a residential building was destroyed during a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine December 29, 2023. REUTERS/Nina Liashonok

    In response to the ongoing conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the United Nations (UN) has launched a plea for $4.2 billion to provide crucial support to war-ravaged Ukrainian communities and the growing number of refugees affected by the hostilities.

    The UN, along with its partners, has called on donors to contribute to the $4.2 billion fund that aims to address the dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine throughout 2024. Martin Griffiths, the U.N. aid chief, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “Hundreds of thousands of children live in communities on the front lines of the war, terrified, traumatized and deprived of their basic needs.” Griffiths urged collective efforts to deliver more humanitarian assistance to the affected regions.

    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that a staggering 14.6 million people, equivalent to 40% of Ukraine’s population, will require humanitarian assistance this year due to the full-scale invasion by Russia. Notably, over 3.3 million individuals in need reside in front-line communities in the east and south of the country, including areas occupied by Russian forces where access remains significantly restricted.

    As part of the appeal, OCHA has requested $3.1 billion to aid 8.5 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in 2024. Concurrently, the UN refugee agency seeks $1.1 billion to support 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees and their host communities.

    Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, approximately 6.3 million people have fled Ukraine seeking refuge abroad. Within the country, four million people, including nearly one million children, remain displaced, as highlighted by OCHA. Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, acknowledged the efforts made by host countries to protect and integrate refugees but stressed that many vulnerable individuals still require assistance. Grandi emphasized that these refugees should not feel compelled to return prematurely due to challenges in making ends meet while in exile.

    The international community is now urged to contribute generously to the UN’s appeal, recognizing the severity of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine and the pressing need to alleviate the suffering of millions affected by the ongoing conflicts.