5 million Ukrainians need humanitarian aid

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SHAFAQNA - The United Nations on Friday warned that the humanitarian crisis due to fighting in Ukraine now means 5 million people there – almost one in nine of the total population – are in need of humanitarian assistance.

“Nearly 1.4 million people have been internally displaced by insecurity and active hostilities, primarily in the eastern provinces of the country,” Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in Geneva.

“Civilians living close to the so-called contact line which separates the government and the non-government controlled areas are among the most vulnerable,” Laerke added.

The World Food Programme recently tripled the scale of its planned operations in Ukraine. It will now raise its emergency food assistance to help 500,000 conflict-affected people until the end of the year.

“Funding of the aid operation remains a concern. Including pledges, only 35 percent of the US$316 million requested has been received,” Laerke said.

More than 6,400 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April last year in the ongoing conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.

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