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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, DRC

17 May 2022


For displaced families in Al-Baraem camp in north-west Syria, access to basic necessities such as water and health services remains a challenge. Credit: OCHA/Mohanad Zayat

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –  17 May 2022


Hostilities in Ukraine have continued, severely affecting eastern and southern parts of Ukraine over the past day, resulting in civilian casualties and further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis.

Eastern Luhanska oblast remains the epicentre of the ongoing clashes. Local authorities report that water and electricity have not been available for over a week, as access to these areas for humanitarian organizations remains extremely limited. This is also preventing the evacuation of civilians on a larger scale.

Access to water supply remains a critical issue in the non-Government-controlled areas of eastern Donetska oblast, with water reserves expected to last only for a few more weeks.

While we are pleased to see that small-scale Government-led evacuations from hard-hit areas in eastern Ukraine have resumed, people in southern Khersonska oblast now face enormous difficulties with relocation to safer areas. There have been reports of civilians waiting to cross the oblast’s administrative boundary to central Dnipropetrovska oblast for days without any success.

The delivery of humanitarian aid to Khersonska oblast is also challenging, leaving civilians in extremely dire conditions. Local authorities in Khersonska oblast warn that medicines could run out in two weeks if safe passage for the delivery of humanitarian assistance is not opened.

Parties to the conflict have the obligation, under international humanitarian law, to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to ensure that civilians can safely leave conflict-affected areas in the direction they want. Further human suffering can only be avoided if parties to the conflict fulfil these obligations.

The UN is not operationally involved in the evacuation of wounded fighters from the Azovstal steel plant.


OCHA briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen this morning in closed consultations.

The two-month truce under way in Yemen has continued to deliver significant improvements for the humanitarian situation. This includes a major reduction in violence and civilian casualties, an increase in fuel supplies and the resumption of flights from Sana’a airport.

Our humanitarian colleagues however remain particularly worried about recent economic projections, including fears that Yemeni importers will struggle to maintain the food supply chain in the coming months as a result of the crisis in Ukraine. If unaddressed, this could be devastating.

We are also worried about the humanitarian operation, which remains under-funded and continues to face serious access constraints and security risks. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022 requesting US$ 1.43 billion is less than 25 per cent funded.

The Safer tanker also continues to threaten a major environmental and humanitarian catastrophe. The UN plan requesting $144 million (including $80m for emergency operation to offload oil) has only $40 million available (including $33 million  announced in pledges on 11 May). We will continue our work with donors to raise the remaining amount needed.


On 16 May, a UN cross-line convoy crossed from Aleppo to north-west Syria. The convoy, as part of the extended inter-agency cross-line plan (May-December), carried food for 43,500 people in need in north-west Syria. It consisted of 14 trucks transporting 13,200 World Food Programme food parcels and wheat flour bags.

This is the fourth cross-line convoy in line with the UN inter-agency operational plan and with UN Security Council Resolution 2585, which calls for both cross-line and cross-border humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in the north-west due to the ongoing hostilities and a deepening economic crisis. Some 4.1 million people rely on aid to meet their basic needs, 80 percent of them are women and children.

Cross-line missions complement the cross-border operation, which includes 800 trucks a month delivering food and other lifesaving aid to 2.4 million people.

The UN urges increased access to all communities in Syria in need of humanitarian assistance.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Our humanitarian colleagues are extremely concerned about the persisting insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, notably the attacks on sites for  internally displaced persons (IDPs) which constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.

On 9 May, at least 15 people were killed in the IDP site of Lodda in Djugu. Since the end of 2021, at least seven IDP sites have been attacked by armed groups.

Close to 100 civilians have been killed since early last week In Ituri, in a series of attacks in the areas of Ndoo in Aru Territory, and in Monge in Djugu Territory with children and women among the victims.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 500 civilians have reportedly been killed, at least 12 attacks on schools and hospitals have been reported, and more than 10,000 protection incidents have been recorded in Ituri.

Each of these incidents has led thousands of people to flee. At least, 165,000 people have been displaced by attacks over the past month in the towns of Komanda, Mambasa and their surroundings in Djugu Territory.

The insecurity is also affecting humanitarian access, restricting movements of teams and delaying aid distribution.