Eastern Ukraine has been in a humanitarian crisis since March 2014, when armed conflict erupted between separatists and Ukrainian armed forces. Separatists now control most of eastern Donetsk region, and a small area of southern Luhansk region. 3.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 3 million have been displaced. Protection and health are of particular concern in conflict areas, particularly as a large number of older people are affected. Humanitarian access is constrained: since September 2015, almost all international aid organisations have been banned from non-government areas; however, as of September UNHCR’s license to operate in Donetsk and surrounding areas was renewed. ?

INFORM measures Ukraine's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 5.3/10. Hazard exposure rating is also very high at 7/10.?

Latest Developments

17/01: Temperature in Ukraine has dropped below -30 degrees Celcius, forcing IDPs to flee shelter as they were not constructed to resist such temperatures. ?

12/31: Attacks on water, gas, and electricity infrastructures increased in December, interrupting vital services in non-government and government controlled areas. ?

Low temperatures below freezing at night have set in and preparations for winterisation are recommended. ? People living along the contact line and residents of houses damaged by shelling are the most vulnerable. ?

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Key figures

  • 3,800,000 people need humanitarian assistance
  • 600,000 Food insecure
  • 1,670,000 IDPs

Key priorities

  • Humanitarian access to non-government areas.
  • Shelter and NFI assistance in non-government areas, mainly blankets, clothes, and heaters.
  • Protection in non-government areas, along the contact line and IDP reception areas.
  • Delivery of aid to the areas along the contact line, where the most pressing needs are being reported.
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Information Gaps and needs

  • Up-to-date information on healthcare availability and access is very limited
  • No data is available on the needs of people in Crimea

Lessons learned

  • Registered IDPs staying in government areas are entitled to assistance under regular social protection programs. However, such assistance suffers significant delays, has been suspended in the past and is often inaccurately targeted. ? ?
  • Local organisations play a critical role in the humanitarian response in Ukraine. Working with and through local organisations is sometimes the only option in order to access areas and undertake activities not covered by the government or by international agencies.?
Key documents



Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine

Human Rights Watch


Studying Under Fire: Attacks on Schools, Military Use of Schools During the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Protection Cluster


Protection Cluster, Overview on State Assistance for IDPs

ENN, Global Nutrition Cluster, UNICEF


Nutrition coordination in Ukraine: Experiences as a sub-cluster of health


Housing, Land and Property Rights of Displaced and Conflict-affected Communities in Eastern Ukraine


Socio-economic impact and needs assessement: Donbass, Ukraine


National monitoring system of the situation with IDPs