UN says ‘tragedy must end’ as 4.1 million Ukrainians flee
The flow of people fleeing western borders to escape the Russian onslaught has stabilized at around 40,000 a day over the past week.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,102,876 Ukrainians had fled the country since the February 24 invasion, up from 43,771 on Thursday.
More than 3.4 million people fled in March.
“Forced to run for their lives. Forced to leave their homes. Forced to be separated from their families. This tragedy must end,” UNHCR said.
Women and children represent 90% of those who have fled. Half of them are children. Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are eligible for military call-up and cannot leave.
UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, says more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million children have been displaced – 2.5 million inside the country and 2 million outside. the stranger.
The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that in addition to Ukrainian refugees, more than 204,000 non-Ukrainians living, studying or working in the country have also left.
And as of March 16, some 6.48 million people were estimated to be internally displaced in Ukraine, according to an IOM survey.
“Forced to flee extraordinary levels of violence, they left their homes and often their families behind, leaving them shocked and traumatized,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said, concluding his first visit to Ukraine since the invasion.
“Humanitarian and protection needs are enormous and continue to grow. And although critically urgent, humanitarian aid alone cannot bring them what they really need, which is peace.
He added, “The support and solidarity shown so far by donors, neighboring countries and individuals around the world has been remarkable.”
Before the Russian invasion five weeks ago, Ukraine had a population of 37 million in government-held areas, excluding Russian-annexed Crimea and pro-Russian breakaway areas in the east.
Watch: Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls on Australia to help fight Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed directly to Australian lawmakers on Thursday for more help in his war against Russia, including armored vehicles and tougher sanctions. Zelenskyy tailored his message to each country through video calls like the one shown to Australian parliament lawmakers.
Here is a breakdown of the number of Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UNHCR:
Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees – 2,384,814 so far – have crossed over to Poland.
More than 1.1 million children have arrived in Poland, UNICEF said.
Many people who cross Ukraine’s immediate western borders travel to other states in the European area with open Schengen borders.
A total of 623,627 Ukrainians entered the EU member state, including a large number who passed through Moldova, stuck between Romania and Ukraine.
The vast majority are thought to have gone to other countries.
The Moldovan border is closest to the major port city of Odessa. Some 390,187 Ukrainians entered this non-EU state, one of the poorest in Europe.
The United Nations World Food Program has launched cash assistance for 100,000 refugees and their host families in the country.
A total of 374,535 Ukrainians entered Hungary.
Some 350,632 refugees had sought refuge in Russia as of Tuesday.
In addition, 113,000 people entered Russia from the pro-Russian separatist-held areas of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine between February 21 and 23.
A total of 292,039 people crossed Ukraine’s shortest border into Slovakia. A further 2,823 Ukrainians entered Slovakia on Thursday.
Another 12,746 refugees have moved north to Russia’s close ally Belarus.