This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo – to whom the quoted text can be attributed – during today’s press conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
In response to the growing Ukrainian refugee crisis, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and humanitarian partners are appealing for increased financial support to help refugees and neighboring countries that generously host them.
Launching an updated Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) for the situation in Ukraine yesterday, UNHCR and partners are seeking $1.85 billion to support 8.3 million expected refugees in the countries. neighbours, namely Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, as well as other countries in the region, including Belarus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
It is being launched against the backdrop of relentless fighting, destruction and displacement inside Ukraine. The war has uprooted more than 12.7 million people so far in the past two months alone – of whom more than 5 million have fled as refugees across borders and 7.7 million are still displaced inside interior of the country. It is also estimated that nearly 13 million more people are stranded in the affected areas or unable to leave due to security risks.
The human impact and suffering already caused by this war is staggering. Families have been torn apart, homes and infrastructure destroyed, while the trauma of war will have a lasting impact on many people forced to flee their homes, including women and children who make up around 90% of those forced to escape.
Since the start of the war, countries in the region have continued to keep their borders open and to welcome refugees. The mobilization of national authorities, host communities, grassroots organizations and tens of thousands of volunteers in neighboring countries and beyond has been remarkable and shows what can be achieved with a “whole of society” approach and in the spirit of the Global Compact. on refugees.
Under the leadership of various host country governments, the RRP brings together 142 organizations, including UN agencies, IFRC and National Red Cross Societies, national and international NGOs, faith-based institutions, civil society and universities.
It focuses on key sectors such as protection, food security, health and nutrition, education, basic needs, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods and resilience, energy and the environment and logistics. Transitional cash assistance, which has already benefited tens of thousands of refugees in neighboring countries, is a key priority to provide dignified assistance to refugees.
This plan aims to ensure that all refugees fleeing Ukraine have access to safety and international protection. It aims to provide rapid and life-saving humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing Ukraine and to third-country nationals, a significant number of whom are in need of international protection. The plan also emphasizes solutions by promoting social and economic opportunity.
Neighboring host countries have mechanisms and capacities to respond. However, the scale of refugee arrivals and the scale of their needs require additional support to national social protection systems and services.
National authorities and regional institutions have acted swiftly to provide temporary protection across Europe and beyond in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility sharing. Strong and flexible funding will be crucial to maintain this solidarity and reaffirm support for the continued protection and inclusion of refugees.
Until we see the end of this war, humanitarian needs will continue to grow and displacement will not stop.
For more information on this subject, please contact:
In Geneva: Shabia Mantoo, [email protected] +41 79 337 76 50
In Warsaw: Rafał Kostrzynski, [email protected] +48 788 224 010
In Budapest: Zoran Stevanovic, [email protected] +36 305 309 633
In Chisinau: Moldova: Kisut Gebreegziabher, [email protected] +37 367 722 468
In Bucharest: Gabriela Leu, [email protected] +40 722 212 097