The current crisis unfolding in Ukraine is exacerbating existing humanitarian needs and creating new needs both inside the country and throughout the region. IOM’s Flash Appeal for Ukraine and Neighbouring Countries seeks to mobilize USD 350 million in order to meet the needs of crisis affected people inside Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, including Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
This flash appeal outlines IOM’s proposed response over the next six months (March-August 2022)1 , focusing on a range of activities that aim to meet the varied needs of those impacted on the crisis and is fully aligned with inter-agency appeals launched in response to the crisis.
On 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation launched a broad military offensive against Ukraine. The situation in the country quickly deteriorated, with major attacks being reported across Ukraine, including in the capital, Kyiv. Russian troops quickly expanded their presence with military clashes ongoing in major cities including Chernihiv (north), Kharkiv (north-east), Kherson (south), Mariupol (south-east), Mykolaiv (south), Odessa (south-west), Sumy (north), amongst others, while the pre-existing hostilities in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts significantly intensified.
The humanitarian community is currently projecting around 6.7M internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Ukraine, as well as a major flow of refugees and migrants towards neighbouring countries, requiring humanitarian border management support, including in the field of health and shelter. The overall unpredictability of the situation requires humanitarian actors to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable displaced and other conflict-affected communities – and particularly female-headed households, children, persons with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses, as well as the elderly.
According to initial figures from IOM’s teams in neighbouring countries, over 600,000 people left Ukraine in the first five days following the start of military operations and the escalation of hostilities. IOM and its partners estimate that over 4 million people, including refugees, third-country nationals and other migrants, may flee the country over the course of the next six months, many of whom will be in need of humanitarian protection and support. IOM is particularly concerned about the situation of stranded migrants within Ukraine, who number over 470,000 according to current estimates.
At the same time, there is a need to ensure that those who seek to leave areas of conflict be allowed to do so, without discrimination. Current reports of prejudice and ill treatment of third country nationals, as well as fears of the instrumentalization of migrants to exacerbate regional tensions -akin to what was seen on the Poland-Belarus border in late 2021 – have prompted IOM to work closely with immigration officials in neighbouring countries and relevant consulates to ensure the rapid and nondiscriminatory processing of affected people in all border areas.