Ukraine situation

3.7 million people remained displaced within Ukraine and 6.3 million Ukrainians remained abroad, having fled the war as refugees and asylum-seekers.

Countries affected:
Belarus | Bulgaria | Czech Republic | Estonia | Hungary | Latvia | Lithuania | Poland | Republic of Moldova | Romania | Slovakia | Ukraine
 
Situation plans:
2023 | 2024 
Situation reports:
2022 
 

2024 Plans and Financial Requirements

2024 Regional Refugee Response Plan

 

Woman standing with her son.
Halyna and her son Vitali, 22, survey the destruction at their home in a village in Ukraine’s Vinnytsia Oblast, which was damaged in a missile attack in October 2022. Vitali was at home that morning, and only remembers the sound of an enormous explosion and a flash of bright light. The window blinds and glass came crashing in on top of him. © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell
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Year-end population figures | 2022 - 2023

For specific information on 2022 data please navigate to the respective report page.
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2023 situation overview

By the end of 2023, the war in Ukraine had displaced an estimated 3.7 million people within the country and forced 6.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers to seek protection abroad, nearly 6 million of them in Europe.  

The war disrupted basic services and livelihoods, damaged infrastructure, and contaminated a vast agricultural region with mines. Civilians living close to the frontlines were exposed to daily hostilities. Even after fleeing, they remained at risk from indiscriminate air strikes. The hostilities, large-scale destruction, disruption of the economy and social services have left millions dependent on humanitarian aid.  

In Ukraine, UNHCR worked in complementarity with Government programmes, providing urgent humanitarian assistance to 2.6 million people. 1.5 million of them received protection support such as legal assistance, information on rights and entitlements, psychosocial support, child protection services and support in relation to gender-based violence. UNHCR delivered cash assistance to nearly 900,000 vulnerable newly displaced people and returnees in 22 regions. People in frontline and hard-to-reach areas urgently needed basic items for cooking, bedding, warmth and hygiene, and UNHCR contributed to 95 inter-agency humanitarian convoys to supply such items to over 575,000 people while shifting towards providing cash assistance rather than goods wherever possible. UNHCR also provided winterization assistance to over 900,000 people, including cash top-ups, relief items, and care in collective sites. Emergency shelter and sustainable housing support was provided to over 247,000 war-affected people, returnees and internally displaced people (IDPs), helping to repair damaged homes and infrastructure.  

 

 

With support from UNHCR and other partners, the Government of Ukraine adopted a “Strategy of the Government policy on internal displacement till 2025” and legislation on compensation for housing damaged or destroyed due to the war.

UNHCR strengthened its collaboration with the Ministry of Territorial Communities and Infrastructure Development by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on “Ukraine is Home” – a platform designed to encourage investment in housing recovery, spearheaded by UNHCR in its role as the Shelter Cluster lead agency.

UNHCR also led the Protection, Emergency Shelter/NFIs, and Camp Coordination and Camp Management Clusters, and co-led the UN Durable Solutions Steering Committee, which pursued an inclusive, holistic approach to early recovery.  

UNHCR worked with humanitarian, recovery, and development actors to support the humanitarian development peace nexus through community-based recovery and solutions to displacement.

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Together with UNDP, IOM, local authorities, and other partners, UNHCR implemented protection and housing programmes through an area-based pilot in Ivankiv in Kyiv region and Mukachevo in Zakarpattia region, with plans to expand to 12 more locations in 2024. UNHCR also provided policy and technical assistance for the “Perehid Initiative”, which is supporting the Government to develop an inclusive, shock-responsive social protection system, and will guide the eventual transfer of cash recipients from humanitarian programmes to the Government social protection system.  

UNHCR carried out intention surveys and other assessments to monitor protection risks and gauge people's attitudes towards returning to their places of origin. 62% of refugees and 67% of IDPs said they wanted to return home one day, but insecurity, the economy and a lack of housing were cited as the main reasons not to do so yet. With some refugees opting to return, UNHCR issued a “Position on voluntary returns to Ukraine” in 2023, which called for refugees’ legal status and associated rights in host countries to remain unaffected by return visits lasting less than three months. UNHCR did not promote or facilitate returns to Ukraine, noting that whilst some individuals were choosing to return home, it was crucial that such decisions were well-informed and made voluntarily in the context of the ongoing international armed conflict. 

 

The European Union’s Temporary Protection Directive, extended until March 2025, along with similar national protection schemes, provided legal frameworks for the protection and inclusion of refugees in national systems.

However, UNHCR’s protection monitoring and engagement with communities showed that refugees often found it difficult in practice to exercise their rights, and people with specific needs faced particular challenges.

Throughout 2023, UNHCR worked with Governments to remove these obstacles, while providing refugees with protection assistance and socioeconomic inclusion support. This included cash assistance for nearly 220,000 refugees, helping them to meet basic needs and mitigate against harmful coping mechanisms.

Over 380,000 refugees received legal support, social protection assistance, access to accommodation and other protection services.  

 

 

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With nearly half of Ukrainian refugee children missing out on formal schooling in host countries, UNHCR issued recommendations to improve their access. UNHCR also issued 10 global public advocacy statements, including on ensuring the inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees in host countries, notably older people and those with disabilities, among others.  

UNHCR also introduced a regional inclusion strategy for the Ukraine Refugee Response in 2023. In line with this, UNHCR implemented several initiatives to promote the socioeconomic inclusion of refugees, including Jobs4Ukraine – a refugee employment platform launched in Romania. This example, among several other good practices, helped promote decent work for refugees, as well as their broader socioeconomic inclusion. 

To advance community-based approaches, UNHCR set up the Regional Contact Centre – a toll-free refugee helpline across Europe, which received 52,000 calls. UNHCR also managed 40 dedicated Help websites, which received 9.1 million hits, providing vital protection information to refugees across the region. A second iteration of the Stay Safe campaign to raise awareness about the risks of trafficking and exploitation, and practical measures to reduce them reached 7.9 million people.  

 

 

UNHCR coordinated and launched the inter-agency 2023 Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for the Ukraine Situation, which brought together the activities of 234 partners across 11 countries (Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia). RRP partners reached 2.1 million refugees with protection and assistance. 

Over 870,000 people received support in accessing protection services, such as legal assistance, and reliable information, while over 477,000 children benefited from child protection services. Some 870,000 refugees received support to meet their basic needs, and nearly 562,000 people received cash assistance to meet their urgent needs. 

This process was led in a collaborative and consultative manner with host Governments, aid agencies, civil society, and affected populations, including women- and refugee-led organizations.

 

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Regional and country-level Working Groups for Protection, Education, Inclusion, Health, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, and Anti-Trafficking, among others, supported national responses.  

With partners in RRP countries, UNHCR led the collection of multi-sector needs assessments for refugees, which revealed that 82% of refugees were satisfied with the aid they received.  

2023 also saw the release of an independent evaluation of UNHCR’s Level 3 emergency response to the Ukraine refugee crisis. The evaluation commended the effectiveness of UNHCR’s action to support millions of refugees in five countries (Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia). It also highlighted that – despite the scale and speed of the crisis – UNHCR’s humanitarian action was very efficient in engaging with national governments and deploying timely resources to meet emergency needs. 

 

More contributions information on the previous year: Funding Update 2022 

Home repairs help restore Ukrainian communities shattered by war

By Charlie Dunmore and Melik Benkritly in Borodianka, Ukraine

 

For the past 30 years, Liudmyla has grown vegetables on a large plot of land beside her house in Ozershchyna, a rural village an hour west of Kyiv. Now aged 70, she still harvests hundreds of kilograms of potatoes each year by hand, storing them for the months ahead in an underground root cellar in her yard.

Faced with huge destruction to civilian infrastructure, UNHCR, with EU humanitarian aid support carries out repairs to family homes where the impact goes far beyond bricks and mortar.

Read the story

family standing
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Latest updates

Ukraine Situation Funding Update - 2024
10-Jul-24
published
3 days ago
June 2024
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1 week ago
13 June 2024
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1 month ago
10 June 2024
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1 month ago
May 2024
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16 May 2024
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January - April 2024
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April 2024
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