Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.10 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.5.00 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.2.80 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Ukraine: outlook and risk analysis for 2023
Ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine: truths and myths
Conflict in Ukraine escalated on 24 February 2022 when the Russian military, stationed for months on the Ukrainian border, invaded the country. The conflict is causing civilian casualties and significant damage to critical infrastructure, particularly in and close to areas of active conflict in the southern and southeastern regions.?
Insecurity is also forcing people to leave their homes. Most of the people seeking refuge abroad are women and children, as martial law requires men of ages 18–60 to remain in the country. Nearly eight million refugees from Ukraine are either in neighbouring countries (such as Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia) or have travelled further to other countries. Hostilities and insecurity had also displaced close to six million people within Ukraine as at the end of 2022.?
Continuous Russian offenses and air strikes targeting energy infrastructure, including power and heating supplies, have left people in affected areas in need of winterisation support. People need improved access to water and heating systems, high-thermal blankets, bedding kits, mattresses, and hygiene kits. Repair services are also needed as the air strikes damage homes. People have high needs for healthcare services in many areas, such as Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts, where hospitals, healthcare centres, and pharmacies have received damage. Elderly people are the most vulnerable, and they need medicine for non-communicable diseases and chronic conditions.?
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased from 2.9 million before 24 February 2022 to 17.6 million in 2023, with the numbers expected to continue increasing because of continuing hostilities. There are more than 4.4 million returnees who have high needs across all sectors, given the extensive destruction of critical infrastructure.?
VERY HIGH CONSTRAINTS
Although highly constrained, since July, humanitarian access has been improving in Ukraine as areas become newly accessible following advances by Ukrainian forces. At the same time, humanitarian access and operations in NGCAs continue to be severely restricted, with little detailed information on the nature of the constraints. In the rest of the country, the increased targeting of critical civilian infrastructure is driving safety and security risks for civilians and humanitarians. The majority of Kharkiv oblast, some areas of Kherson (Beryslav raion and Kherson city), and Mykolaiv oblast have become newly accessible for humanitarians after they were retaken by Ukrainian forces. Using the only recognised crossing between government-controlled areas (GCAs) and NGCAs (via the Vasylivka NGCA and Kamianske GCA checkpoints in Zaporizhzhia oblast) has become more time-consuming for civilians since the claimed ‘annexation’ of NGCAs by the Russian Federation on 30 September. Since then, documentation requirements and extensive searches by Russian forces on civilians wishing to leave the NGCA have been reported, and the rate of people crossing into the GCA has significantly dropped. Heightened risks related to active conflict and shelling hamper humanitarian access in frontline areas. Military checkpoints also prevent humanitarians from accessing certain frontline communities. In areas with heavier shelling, civilians’ access to services is restricted by the risk they must take to reach aid distribution points. Even when an area becomes newly accessible, constraints remain high given the heavy presence of mines and UXO and severe damage to civilian infrastructure.
For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022.
Background: Before the February 2022 escalation
Tensions in Ukraine started at the end of 2013 in Kyiv following the decision of former president Viktor Yanukovych to refuse an association agreement with the EU. Protests in different cities were severely repressed, and armed conflicts broke out in mid-May 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and started backing separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Since then, the Ukrainian armed forces and the separatist forces have been fighting along a contact line separating government-controlled areas from non-government-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Between 2014 and the end of September 2021, more than 3,000 civilians have died, and over 7,000 people have been injured because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Prior to the February 2022 escalation, 2.9 million people were estimated to be in need, mainly in eastern Ukraine. About 1.46 million people were displaced as at mid-December 2021.?
WASH: About 16 million people are estimated to need access to safe WASH services in March–December 2022, with more people expected to be in need of WASH in the upcoming months. Shelling has damaged water treatment facilities, pipelines, and pumps, limiting repairs. Power cuts affecting water pumps and the inability to pay for hygiene products further aggravate WASH needs of the affected population.?
About 1.4 million people have no access to safe water in eastern Ukraine, and an additional 4.6 million have only limited access as a result of the conflict and attacks on water and electricity infrastructure.?
Food security and livelihood: About 9.3 million people are estimated to need access to food and livelihood services in March–December 2022, with more people expected to be in need of FSL in the upcoming months. According to early estimations, at least 20% of people in Ukraine are currently facing food shortages. There is increased reliance on coping strategies such as reducing food intake and the number of meals. The conflict has disrupted normal food supply chains. Farmers face challenges delivering their produce to markets because of fuel shortages and disruptions in commercial transportation.?
Health: About 14.5 million people are estimated to be in need of health and 700,000 people of nutrition assistance in March–Decmber 2022; this figure is likely to increase as a result of continuing hostilities. Power shortages, lack of medicines and medical supplies, understaffing, damaged infrastructure, and disruptions to water systems have affected the functioning of health facilities.?
Protection: About 17.7 million people are estimated to be in need of access to protection services in March–December 2022; this figure is likely to increase because of continuing hostilities. The conflict resulted in civilian casualties and displacements, as well as protection risks for the population, including human rights violations, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, limited freedom of movement (especially between non-government-controlled areas and government-controlled areas), and the presence of unexploded explosive ordnance (especially near the contact line).?
Shelter and NFI: About 11.2 million people are estimated to be in need of access to shelter and NFI services in March–December 2022; this figure is likely to increase because of continuing hostilities. The conflict resulted in civilian casualties and displacements. At least 7 million people have been internally displaced, with some taking refuge in public spaces and reception centres with inadequate amenities. Many IDPs are located in western regions, which has strained public resources in these areas. The cost of rent in western regions has also risen, making accommodation unaffordable for many IDPs.?
Limited up-to-date information on humanitarian needs inside Ukraine as access is very limited, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
Limited up-to-date information on the demographics and location of people in conflict-affected areas.
Limited up-to-date information on gender-specific needs by location.
Limited information on the needs of people displaced to Russia.