As 2018 begins, Ukraine still faces a dire humanitarian situation. Millions are forced to make impossible choices as a result of the protracted war in the East. Head of UN OCHA Ingrid Macdonald talks about the personal stories of unending struggle, the humanitarian priorities and the prospects for the upcoming year.

In December 2017, the United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which aims to provide critical humanitarian assistance and protection to 2.3 million people in need throughout 2018.

Many of the people affected have exhausted their resources and are forced to make impossible choices to survive. Millions in eastern Ukraine continue living at daily risk of shelling and intensive fighting. Up to one million crossings are recorded each month through the ‘contact line’, so people can access basic services, pensions, social benefits and visit relatives.

Of the 4.4 million people affected by the conflict, some 3.4 million people are in a dire humanitarian situation requiring assistance and protection. Of those in need, 32 international and 16 national agencies aim to assist 2.3 million civilians considered most vulnerable, with a particular focus on the elderly, women and children. US$187 million is urgently needed to reach them with critical humanitarian assistance and protection support.

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