Over 2,500 civilians killed since start of hostilities in Donbas - UN
Since the beginning of hostilities in Donbas, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed, and more than 9,000 have been injured, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Neal Walker has said in his report to UN Member States and International Organizations in New York.
According to a report posted on the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Walker stressed that 4.4 million conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine are the dire humanitarian situation. After four years of conflict, 3.4 million people in Ukraine are struggling to cope with the impact of the humanitarian crisis and urgently require humanitarian assistance and protection.
"More than 2,500 civilian men, women and children have been killed, and over 9,000 injured, since hostilities began four years ago," the report says.
According to the coordinator, there were on average 40,000 violations per month in Donbas in 2017. Walker said that, "only this week, five water treatment workers were shot while trying to maintain critical water infrastructure along the contact line."
"Today, water supplies to over 345,000 civilians hang in the balance. Last year alone, over 130 incidents affected critical water infrastructure," – he said.
According to the UN, over 600,000 people, including 100,000 children, suffer from the continued armed clashes along the 457-km contact line. Every month, over 1 million people are forced to cross the 'no-man's land' through checkpoints, many to simply access basic humanitarian and social services.
Walker also noted a serious explosive hazard contamination in eastern Ukraine. Last year alone, over 235 civilians were killed or injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war.
Walker recalled that in December 2017, humanitarian agencies launched a highly prioritized $187 million appeal to reach over 2.3 million of the most vulnerable people in Ukraine with assistance and protection services. So far, this appeal remains largely unfunded.
"Today, I call on Member States to stand in solidarity with conflict- affected people in Ukraine and to help urgently address this 97 per cent funding gap," he said.