17 February 2016 – The Humanitarian Country Team, together with the Government of Ukraine, appealed today to the donors to generously contribute to the Humanitarian Response Plan 2016 requirements of US$ 298 million.

The plan illustrates the strategic humanitarian response priorities that the UN and its humanitarian partners are planning to carry out in 2016 in Ukraine, targeting 2.5 million most vulnerable amongst the 3.1 million conflict-affected people who continue to need critical life-saving assistance. National and international appealing agencies call for $298 million to be assigned for humanitarian assistance.

Early funding of this appeal is critical to ensure key benchmarks are met, not least the 2016 planting season, and timely winterization support. The response remains focused on critical, life-saving interventions in the most affected locations along the ‘contact line’ and in areas beyond Government control. Some 0.8 million civilians across the frontline are most directly affected by the conflict, with insecurity, severe movement constraints, loss of livelihoods, absence of rule of law, protection concerns and very limited access to basic services all part of their day-to-day life. The needs of some 2.7 million people living beyond the ‘contact line’ in non-government controlled areas (NGCAs) are similarly difficult, albeit without the physical risk of living under bombardment. A portion of the internally displaced persons still requires some humanitarian interventions, yet, in view of the protracted nature of the displacement, other more long-term actions are needed for this group.

“Two years into the conflict in Ukraine, affected people, mostly elderly and families with children, are struggling to cope. The cumulative impact of insecurity and landmines, destruction, trauma, the disruption of basic services, inability to work, and limitations of freedom of movement all result in a high level of humanitarian and protection needs,” said Neal Walker, Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine. “Given the scale of the economic crisis in the country, the financial support of donors is a key to help us alleviating the suffering of millions of people.”

The Head of Donbas Recovery Agency, Vadym Chernysh, noted “While still on an emergency response footing, it is clear the 2016 response plan is also forward looking. We support the plan and we are ready to join forces to work to reduce our people’s suffering, while at the same time fast track interventions which will help the society to recover, building on the resilience and the courage the affected people and institutions demonstrate since the beginning of the crisis.”

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TheHumanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Ukraineis a strategic decision-making forum led by the Humanitarian Coordinator. More information: https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/

Whilst the primary responsibility for provision of assistance remains with the authorities, as per International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, in response to the deteriorating situation, humanitarian partners continue to carry out humanitarian relief activities across Ukraine, including in non-government-controlled areas (NGCAs). Humanitarian partners are committed to basic humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.