The two-year long conflict in eastern Ukraine has left around 1.5 million people hungry, including almost 300,000 people who are severely food insecure and in need of immediate food assistance, the United Nations food relief agency said today.
“Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of people in eastern Ukraine,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative Giancarlo Stopponi.
“As the conflict continues, we need to reach these people urgently. We appeal to all parties of the conflict to facilitate full and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need across the country.”
WFP aims to reach nearly 270,000 of the most vulnerable people with monthly food assistance over the first half of this year. Since November 2014, WFP has distributed emergency assistance to over half a million people in need, including 370,000 people who received monthly food packages and 180,000 people who received assistance through cash-based transfers in areas where markets are still functioning.
WFP will continue to provide cash-based transfers or food assistance to the most vulnerable among those affected by conflict.
People living in the non-government controlled area of Luhansk and near the conflict line are the most affected by food insecurity: over half of the population, in both the government-controlled area and non-government controlled area, experienced a complete loss or a significant reduction of income.
With no presence in Ukraine before the crisis, WFP now cooperates with other UN agencies to provide assistance to those who had to leave their homes, people returning home, and people still trapped in conflict hotspots.
Ukraine: Conflict brings hunger crisis
By Rick Gladstone, New York Times, April 4, 2016
The two-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine has left about 1.5 million people hungry, including nearly 300,000 in need of immediate help, the World Food Program, the main anti-hunger humanitarian agency of the United Nations, said on Monday.
“As the conflict continues, we need to reach these people urgently,” the agency’s representative in Ukraine, Giancarlo Stopponi, said in a statement.
The numbers of hungry Ukrainians have multiplied since the agency first intervened late in 2014 to help feed people upended in the conflict, distributing emergency rations and cash. Ukraine was historically known as Europe’s breadbasket for its rich soil and agricultural output. As of the first quarter of 2016, Ukraine is the only country in Europe to require and receive assistance from the World Food Program. (End article)
You can find the research documentation by the Oakland Institute on Ukrainian agricultural production and potential here.
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