April saw a 20 per cent increase of security incidents, compared to that of March, with significant escalation before and after the Orthodox Easter week - a period usually less violent. This coincided with a lack of ceasefire re-commitment that was traditionally put in place around this time of year. However, the number of civilian casualties slightly decreased from 16 in March to 13 in April (one killed and 12 injured).
Almost half of civilian casualties in 2019 was due to mine explosion and mishandling of explosive remnants of war (ERW). Following the passing of the first Mine Action Law in late 2018, several positive steps have been made to address some concerns and ambiguities, including a recent important amendment to allow direct funding to mine action operators and also a recent introduction of the first unified marking system of landmines and explosive hazards in line with the international mine action standards. Meanwhile, following the introduction of national energy market reform, widespread water cuts were reported in several conflict-affected areas, for as long as almost a month in some cases. Coincidentally, reports of water-borne disease emerged in a small settlement. While humanitarians provided water trucking to address most urgent needs, persistent underfunding posed difficulties for partners to either continue or scale up WASH response to adequately meet the magnitude of needs. The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan remained severely underfunded at only 11 per cent. On 25 April, the United Nations Security Council held the second-in-2019 briefing on Ukraine where the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs stressed the need to re-double efforts to scale up humanitarian response in eastern Ukraine.