Thursday, 23 November 2017

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A harsh winter looms for Ukraine's IDPs

Slavyansk September 2014 / EU ECHO / Flickr2.0 Generic CC BY-ND 2.0

4 November 2014 – The need for humanitarian aid in Ukraine rises as the protracted conflict is about the enter its first winter. While the majority of the displaced people are staying with family and friends or in rented accommodation, at least 14,000 IPDs are currently living in collective shelters.

UNHCR is racing to help some of the most vulnerable displaced people cope with the expected harsh winter conditions. One of the urgent priorities is to make sure that the shelters are weather proofed, and that blankets and winter clothes are being provided for those in greatest need.

Ukraine's internally displaced population is estimated at 430,000 people – some 170,000 (or 60 per cent) more than at the start of September. About 95 per cent of them are from eastern Ukraine.

Extending protection

In the past weeks, Ukraine has already taken important steps to protect and assist displaced people with new government resolutions on registration and assistance.

The Ukrainian parliament also adopted a law on the rights and freedoms of internally displaced people, providing them protection against discrimination, forcible return and assistance in any voluntary returns. The law, which was developed with support from UNHCR and civil society, also simplifies access to different social and economic services.

Nearly 400,000 Ukrainians have applied for legal stay in Russia

Meanwhile, more than 207,000 Ukrainians have applied for refugee status or temporary asylum in the Russian Federation since the beginning of this year, according to the Federal Migration Service. Additionally, some 180,000 Ukrainians have applied for other forms of legal stay in Russia, such as temporary or permanent residence permits.

The Russian authorities have adopted several regulations to facilitate the temporary stay of Ukrainians arriving in their territory and UNHCR hopes equal treatment will be afforded to refugees from other countries too.

As of the end of September, more than 6,600 Ukrainians had requested asylum in European Union countries, compared with 903 applications during the whole of 2013. The EU country receiving the largest number of Ukrainian asylum seekers has been Poland (1,632), followed by Sweden (841).

UNHCR Ukraine IDP 23 Oct 2014(Open image in new tab for full resolution)

Source: UNHCR


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