An evacuation train from Kramatorsk arriving at the Lviv train station. Photo: Christian Jepsen/NRC, March 2022

Six months on, the war in Ukraine continues to affect millions of people

Published 23. Aug 2022
Statement by Roberto Vila-Sexto, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Country Director, on the approaching six-month mark of the escalation of the war in Ukraine:

“People trapped amid hostilities in the east of Ukraine continue to bear the highest cost of this war. Some communities have had no access to humanitarian assistance since February, witnessing the destruction of their property and critical infrastructure needed for survival.

“Relentless fighting continues in the Donetsk region, where the government has now ordered civilians to evacuate. Some people will remain where they are, unable or reluctant to leave their homes.

“Many might forget the war in Ukraine did not start on 24 February as people in the east have been living on the frontlines for the past eight years. Six months since the unprecedented escalation, no one should need a reminder that the armed conflict is far from over – and continues to affect millions of lives.

“Nearly 18 million people currently need assistance inside Ukraine, including almost 7 million internally displaced across the country. Their situation will further deteriorate with the onset of winter. Housing and fuel shortages will exacerbate the impact of displacement and insecurity, particularly in areas with widespread infrastructure damage.

“Although refugee returns to Ukraine have significantly increased, over 1.5 million people have also left the country in the last month alone. Access to humanitarian aid across the country and long-term support to displaced people, including those who choose to return, needs to be prioritised from now on. Investment in housing and reconstruction, as well as compensation and reparation schemes inside Ukraine must remain on the donors’ agenda to ensure the people of Ukraine remain protected amidst an uncertain future.”

Note to editors:

  • Photos depicting the current humanitarian situation in the country are available to download and use for free here.
  • B-roll showing the current humanitarian needs is available here.

Facts and figures:

  • Over 11 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine since the escalation started on 24 February.
  • 7 million refugees from Ukraine are now in Europe and 3.8 million people have registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes across Europe.
  • 5 million border crossings into Ukraine have been recorded since 28 February .
  • Around 3% of IDPs across Ukraine live in collective centres, largely public buildings, unfit for long-term living and insufficiently insulated against harsh winter weather.
  • At least 13,000 civilian casualties have been recorded since 24 February, with over 5,500 civilians killed. The real numbers are likely to be much higher, but already exceed the verified 10,982 civilian casualties, reported in the previous eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  • Over 200,000 applications about damaged or destroyed housing units were submitted via the government’s online application “Diia.”
  • NRC has been working in Ukraine since 2014. Since the escalation, we have been scaling up both inside in the country and in the neighbouring countries. On 7 March 7, NRC launched an $80 million Regional Crisis Response Plan aimed at reaching out to 600,000 people with assistance through operations across Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova.
  • In Ukraine, NRC is responding in the east, west and north of the country through the delivery of shelter and cash assistance, life-saving food and hygiene kits, provision of legal aid and information, multi-sectoral support to IDP collective sites and advocacy. In total, nearly 150,000 people in Ukraine have already benefited from our response since February.

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