After eight years of increasing conflict and violence between Russians that resulted in an official invasion on February 24, 2022. Ukraine’s population was estimated at 41.4 million when conflict broke out four months ago, 7.7 million of which are now internally displaced, this means 17.5% of the entire Ukrainian population, according to recent estimates. Ukrainians crossed international borders into neighbouring countries like Belarus or left for more distant countries like Austria.
Those displaced face immense big humanitarian issues; in terms of meeting their basic services like education and health care. They desperately left their homeland, belongings, and support networks behind escaping death and war destruction. The impact of forced displacement caused traumas and other multiple implications, mainly to children, for which they need serious mental health help and psychosocial support. Many facilities have been since destroyed, like schools and hospitals, while many are now suffering from injuries with varying degrees of severity.
Reports have shown that the majority of refugees displaced internally are women and children who are now facing major issues like shortage of food, lack or limited access healthcare insurance, and restricted access to essential daily services. Their socio-economic situation, far from their lands, is dire and worsening due to posed threats of an unknown future. Prior to Russian invasion, Ukraine took big steps in women’s rights and developed discrimination response services, but the current crisis is putting all those efforts in danger. Data have shown that Ukrainian women are facing sexual exploitation when crossing borders and at high risk of violence and abuse.
Vulnerable groups also fled Russia while some others could not. Those are at high risk of losing their lives more than any other groups who made it to neighbouring countries. People with disabilities need centres of care and intensive health support which might not be offered in hosting countries. Many are still trapped in war zones and they are struggling to move out relying on others to answer their basic support needs. International organisations worldwide have been calling for countries to support those refugees with humanitarian aid. They also stated the fact that speed of displacement has not been seen since Second World War II which puts aid authorities in a critical situation to protect civilians and provide them with basic needed necessities and mitigate risks on the other hand.
The Russian-Ukrainian war would also hamper economic development in Ukraine for years to come. Vast majority of male and female displaced people are working age and will move to economic cities of hosting countries with a great potential of settlement. Challenges now, if war stops, is reconstructing the economy which the government will need physical capital and human workforce to initiate.
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