Press Release

Urgent funding is required to meet the needs of 1.9 million people in eastern Ukraine

20 August 2021

On this World Humanitarian Day, the humanitarian community calls upon international donors to provide urgent funding to help meet the most critical needs of 1.9 million people in eastern Ukraine. In the first six months of 2021, humanitarian actors have provided assistance to over 800,000 people on both sides of the “contact line”. However, if additional funding is not made available, the most vulnerable will be left without support.

Seven years of ongoing armed conflict have pushed millions of people in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts to the brink. In addition, the last 17 months of movement restrictions across the “contact line” aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19 have pushed people into greater dependency on humanitarian assistance.

At the end of last year, humanitarian organizations estimated that 3.4 million residents of eastern Ukraine would require humanitarian assistance in 2021, out of which 1.9 million most vulnerable people on both sides of the “contact line” were targeted to receive humanitarian relief and protection services. Despite existing funding constraints and limited humanitarian access, the UN and its humanitarian partners have already supported over 800,000 in the first six months of 2021.

“The work that humanitarian community does in eastern Ukraine is only possible if we have two key elements: humanitarian access and sufficient funding. Unfortunately, this year so far, we have only received 27 per cent, some US$45.4 million, of the $168 million required to provide humanitarian assistance to 1.9 million Ukrainians on both sides of the “contact line”, noted Ms. Osnat Lubrani, the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine.

In eastern Ukraine, the needs of people continue to outpace the funding as violence and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to persist. With this in mind, the humanitarian community in Ukraine has identified US$49 million of Humanitarian Funding Priorities to set out for international donors time-sensitive funding priorities for the remainder of 2021.

“If we fail to mobilize $49 million in the next five months, more than 600,000 people will not have sufficient access to critical services, and at least 50 medical facilities in eastern Ukraine are not going to be properly equipped to deal with the effects of the next wave of COVID-19 infections. Moreover, some 107,000 persons living in communities close to the “contact line” will not be able to afford to stay warm during winter,” underlined Mr. Ignacio Leon Garcia, Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ukraine, in presenting the Document.


The Humanitarian Funding Priorities Document in English is available at


For additional information, please get in touch with Viktoriya Hrubas at or +380 (50) 382 45 41.


About World Humanitarian Day: On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. Each year, World Humanitarian Day brings together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being, and dignity of people affected by crises and for the safety and security of aid workers.

Urgent funding is required to meet the needs of 1.9 million people in eastern Ukraine

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