Since the annexation of the Crimea and the beginning of the military conflict in the east of Ukraine, to over two million people were forced leave their homes. This was reported in Friday’s statement dedicated to the International Day of Refugees by the European Commission (EC), reports DELFI.
As of June 2015, more than 1.3 mln. Citizens of Ukraine registered as "internally displaced persons» (IDPs). This category includes people who had to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict or natural disaster, but who have not crossed international borders and remained in the country. Yet more than 860 thousand Ukrainians have moved over the past year to neighboring countries, mainly Russia, Belarus and Poland.
The Commission recalls that the refugees and "internally displaced persons" permanently need assistance - shelter, food, medical supplies, hygiene items, medical and psychological support. The EC notes that stocks of medicines in the conflict zone is very limited. Despite a ceasefire agreement, which entered into force in February 2015, humanitarian organizations still do not have a fully open access to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
To help the public and the EU member states have already sent to the conflict zone in excess of 139 million Euro. Help is for all affected groups, including refugees in Russia and Belarus. In January, as part of a joint operation with humanitarian organizations, UNICEF and UNCHR, the EU sent to Ukraine tents, blankets, sleeping bags.