Ukraine: Situation report on humanitarian impact at 3:00 p.m. (EET) on 4 March 2022 – Ukraine

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HIGHLIGHTS

• Urban areas in parts of Ukraine have faced relentless shelling for more than a week which continues to damage and disrupt the functioning of essential civilian infrastructure, leaving thousands of people without water, heat or electricity . Shelling and widespread violence are also creating critical shortages of food and medicine and preventing the delivery of vital supplies and the evacuation of the most vulnerable.

• As the geographical scope of the conflict continues to expand every day, new areas outside the traditional foci of eastern Ukraine and major urban centers are increasingly affected, a worrying trend that could contribute to a significant expansion of the scope and scale of humanitarian assistance. crisis.

• In the early hours of March 4, reports emerged that a fire broke out at a training center at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the largest of its kind in the country – located in southeastern Ukraine, as clashes in the vicinity of Enerhodar raged. The fire has since been extinguished and preliminary reports suggest the plant suffered no critical damage to critical equipment, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) saying there was no change in radiation levels.

• The number of civilian casualties continues to rise hour by hour. Between February 24 and March 3, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports at least 1,006 civilian casualties, including 331 killed, a figure likely much higher because the dead and civilian casualties continue to be checked.

• The UN and its humanitarian partners continue to scale up their operations and are considering the establishment of new offices and sub-offices across the country, preparing to respond to increased humanitarian needs. Several international humanitarian organizations have already been able to deliver large quantities of aid either to neighboring countries or inside Ukraine. The level of humanitarian response is expected to continue to increase in the days and weeks to come.

OVERVIEW

On March 3, the final talks between the Russian Federation and Ukraine reportedly resulted in a joint commitment to establish humanitarian corridors for the safe passage of civilians and humanitarian relief to the most affected areas. This is potentially a key development in the ongoing humanitarian response across Ukraine, as an increasing number of Ukrainian towns come under relentless siege that is driving an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the country. The most urgent needs are reported in Dnipro (center), Donetsk (east), Kharkiv (east), Kherson (south), Kiev (capital), Luhansk (east) and Mariupol (southeast) – which are home to more than 7 .3 million people. people gathered.

Many towns in parts of Ukraine have faced a week of persistent shelling that continues to damage or disrupt the functioning of civilian infrastructure, leaving thousands of people without water, heat or electricity, creating severe shortages of food and medicine. It also impedes the delivery of vital supplies and the evacuation of the most vulnerable, including children, women, the elderly and people with disabilities, as roads and bridges as well as trains and stations have been extensively damaged. or destroyed.

The number of civilian casualties continues to rise hour by hour. Between 4 a.m. on February 24 and midnight on March 3, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports at least 1,006 civilian casualties, including 331 killed, a figure which is probably much higher as civilian deaths and injuries continue to be verified.

OHCHR reports 440 casualties in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts (54 killed and 277 injured in government-controlled areas and 23 killed and 86 injured in non-government-controlled areas) and 566 civilian casualties in other other regions of Ukraine.

As the geographical scope of the conflict continues to expand every day, new areas outside the traditional foci of eastern Ukraine and major urban centers are increasingly affected, a worrying trend that could contribute to a significant expansion in the scope and scale of the crisis. On March 3, in the northern city of Cherniv, which has a population of around 285,000, more than two dozen people were reportedly killed and nearly 20 others injured after strikes on a civilian apartment complex.

In the early hours of March 4, reports emerged of a fire at a training center at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the largest of its kind in the country – located in southeastern Ukraine as clashes occurred in the vicinity of Enerhodar. rages. The fire has since been extinguished and preliminary reports suggest the plant suffered no critical damage to critical equipment, with the IAEA saying there was no change in radiation levels at the plant, which houses six of the country’s 15 nuclear reactors. The incident served as an ominous reminder of the potential environmental health disaster the ongoing conflict could produce, potentially releasing large amounts of radioactivity in the worst case scenario.

Amid escalating violence, internal and cross-border displacement continues unabated in parts of Ukraine, leading to a corresponding growth in humanitarian needs that have already reached crisis levels after just over a week .

Although the scale and extent of displacement is still unclear, it is estimated that more than 10 million people could potentially flee their homes as part of the current crisis, including 4 million people who could cross international borders. , a figure that has already exceeded one million since February 24. As the scale of displacement increases, the most vulnerable groups, including women and children, persons with disabilities, third-country migrants and the elderly, among others, will face heightened protection risks, such as as abuse and neglect as well as sexual and gender-based violence. violence.

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