Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ukraine, DRC, Yemen
TitleDaily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ukraine, DRC, Yemen
Olga, who fled Ukraine with her two children – Timor, who is almost 3 years old, and Vladimir, who is 7. Credit: UNICEF
Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 16 March 2022
The crisis in Ukraine is developing rapidly and with devastating impact on the humanitarian situation. In the worst-affected cities under attack - including Mariupol and Kharkiv - heavy fighting leaves people isolated and facing severe shortages of food, water, and energy supplies.
In Mariupol, tens of thousands of people remain trapped in the city despite reports of some evacuations. Our humanitarian colleagues are particularly concerned about vulnerable groups such as older people and people living with disabilities who may not be able to flee the conflict, as well as women and girls who face a heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation. Yesterday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society reported on the safe passage of mostly women and children out of Sumy to Lubny on two convoys with at least 80 buses.
Efforts continue to ensure voluntary safe passage of civilians out of areas with active fighting, as well as movement of humanitarian goods and personnel into areas where needs are most acute. Under international humanitarian law, all parties must protect civilians, and this entails allowing them to voluntarily and safely flee areas of active hostilities.
In terms of response, humanitarian organizations are deploying additional staff across the country and are working to move supplies to warehouses in different hubs to serve people in need. The World Food Programme reports that in Kharkiv, 32.5 metric tons of bread were distributed by one of their cooperating partners to about 140,800 crisis-affected people.
So far, about 600,000 people have been reached with some form of humanitarian assistance. The number of people crossing international borders out of Ukraine has reached 3.1 million according to the Office for UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
And on funding, as of today (11:00 am New York), donors have reported $246 million for the Ukraine Flash Appeal 2022, which gives a coverage of 22 per cent. We remain very thankful to the donors who released the pledged amounts and hope to have more released soon. OCHA’s team continues its efforts to enhance humanitarian civil-military coordination. The aim is to facilitate rapid life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in Ukraine.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Our humanitarian colleagues warn that access to people in need is getting worse in Beni territory in North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to the repeated deadly attacks. More than 27 civilians were killed in an attack by armed men on 11 March in Mambume in Beni territory, while several people were reported missing and a dozen houses burned.
Between December 2021 and 15 March 2022, armed group violence has killed at least 256 people in Beni territory in some 40 attacks; around 200 civilians were also abducted. Since December 2021, the violence in Beni territory has displaced more than 250,000 people into other parts of North Kivu province. About 30,000 others have fled to Uganda. North Kivu currently hosts a total of 1.88 million internally displaced people.
As of 10 March 2022, seven humanitarian organizations have suspended their activities in Kamango health zone, Beni territory, where attacks are on the rise. In addition, more than 300,000 people no longer have access to humanitarian assistance in Kamango, Mutwanga, Oïcha and Mabalako health zones in the north of North Kivu province. Humanitarian supply routes are also becoming more challenging due to the violence, and organizations have to make a long detour sometimes crossing Rwanda and Uganda from Goma to reach Kamango health zone.
OCHA continues to advocate with all parties on the ground to facilitate access and ensure the safety of humanitarian actors to deliver assistance to vulnerable people.
The High-Level Pledging Event for Yemen is still ongoing, co-hosted by the UN, Switzerland and Sweden. As you’ve heard from us recently, humanitarian programmes in Yemen are facing unprecedented funding shortages that are forcing reductions and closures of life-saving assistance.
In light of these cuts, as well as the alarming new food security data you heard about yesterday, USG Griffiths emphasized that it’s “difficult to overstate the importance of today’s event.” He also implored the world to show it was not forgetting about Yemen, despite many other challenges facing the world.
The response in Yemen is estimated to require US$4.27 billion for the year 2022. While we hope that donors pledge generously, the annual requirement is not the target for a one-day pledging event. Fund-raising has happened before the event, and it will continue after. So there is not a specific target, but it is clear that in a situation of severe underfunding, every dollar counts and is appreciated. The final results will be announced at the closing of the conference a little later today.