• More than 1.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
  • More than half of those refugees have arrived in neighboring Poland.
  • The UN refugee agency has warned that this number could rise to 4 million in the coming days.
  • Here’s a snapshot of the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis — and how you can help.

In freezing temperatures, groups of mostly women and children have arrived at Ukraine’s borders with the eastern part of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and with the north and northeast of Romania and Moldova.

Queues have formed – in some cases tens of miles back – as people wait to be processed, with the time it takes to cross to safety ranging from hours to several days.

“I took a train from Kiev to Lviv to a point where the taxi dropped us. I ran the last 50 kilometers,” a Ukrainian woman told Reuters.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on February 28, Dame Barbara Woodward, the British ambassador to the UN, warned that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

“As a result of President Putin’s decision to launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, a country of 44 million people now stands on the brink of humanitarian disaster. Rockets have hit Kharkiv, with cluster munitions hitting residential areas and injuring residents. Disruption of supply chains has led to food shortages in Kramatorsk…

“Violence in Kiev has forced people to seek refuge underground, with many thousands, including the elderly and disabled, unable to evacuate.”

Here’s a snapshot of the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis.

1. More 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees and rising

More than 1.5 million people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since the Russian invasion on February 24, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

As of March 5, more than half of those people – more than 800,000 – have arrived in Poland, with Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania receiving more than 400,000 together.

There were early reports of people having to wait up to 60 hours to enter Poland, while queues at the Romanian border are up to 20 km long, UNHCR spokesman Shabia Mantoo told a briefing in Geneva.

2. How many Ukrainian refugees could there be?

The UNHCR is planning up to 4 million refugees in the coming days and weeks.

UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi told the UN Security Council: “I have worked in refugee crises for almost 40 years and I have rarely seen such an incredibly rapidly increasing exodus of people. I am sorry to say that Ukrainians will continue to flee unless there is a immediate cessation of the conflict.”

3. EU countries have dropped the entry requirements

EU interior ministers unanimously supported on March 3 a plan to provide temporary shelters to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, which should come into effect within days.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin described support for a package that would give Ukrainians the same rights as formal refugees for a year, and subject to possible extension, as “important and historic” as “important and historic”. EU Member States Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary have land borders with Ukraine.

Slovakia has opened its borders to refugees without travel documents, while the Czech Republic has lifted the ban on Ukrainians crossing without COVID-19 certificates.

4. How much is needed?

Red Cross agencies appealed on March 1 for $273 million to provide food, water and shelter to millions of people in Ukraine and those who have fled abroad.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – the world’s largest disaster relief network – made a joint appeal when a massive Russian armored column attacked Kiev, six days after the invasion of Moscow started .

“We need the funds to meet humanitarian needs, which are already huge – food, water, shelter, health care, psychological support – and they are growing by the hour,” said Martin Schüepp, regional director for Europe and Central America. Asia from the ICRC at a press conference. †

5. How can you help?

Donations to organizations such as the ICRC and the International Rescue Committee will pay for urgent supplies, including blankets and cooking stoves.

That is what the UNHCR says: fundraising for displaced families organizing events through work or school is a way to take positive action and bring people together to help during the crisis.

It also warns against sharing misinformation about the situation in Ukraine online, and suggests using accredited sources, including the BBC and the World Economic Forum. If you are not sure whether a news source is accredited, we recommend that you check here

Source: Vietnam Insider


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