Ukraine: humanitarian situation overview

Published by UN OCHA, 18 April 2024

From January to March, the humanitarian situation in Ukraine continued to deepen. Waves of attacks had a devastating impact on civilians, and vital services were disrupted for hundreds of thousands of people across the country at the height of winter. Since the start of the year through March 2024, people across Ukraine – Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia and elsewhere – have suffered from massive waves of attacks, which have killed and injured civilians and damaged houses and critical civilian infrastructure. At the same time, hostilities in front-line and border communities, especially in Donetska, Kharkivska, Khersonska and Sumska oblasts, drove further displacement of civilians in search of safety and protection. The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) verified that 640 people had been killed or injured in January and 500 in February, noting an alarming increase in the number of children affected, with 40 child casualties reported in January alone. Strikes on critical infrastructure led to major disruptions of essential services such as electricity, water, and gas for hundreds of thousands of people.

Continuous attacks on schools and medical facilities have had far-reaching consequences, making access to essential health care and education ever more challenging. In the first three months of 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) verified more than 70 attacks impacting health-care providers, supplies, facilities, warehouses and transport in Ukraine, out of over 260 attacks globally. The impact is especially devastating in front-line areas where health-care facilities have already been heavily impacted. Additionally, according to the Education Cluster, nearly 90 education facilities have been impacted by attacks across Ukraine since the start of 2024. Educational and medical facilities were impacted in front-line areas and other locations further from active ground fighting, such as Lviv City in the west, hindering access to essential health care and education.

The war has led to encompassing mental health risks and trauma among millions of Ukrainians. The World Health Organization reports that nearly 10 million people are at risk or suffering from mental disorders, with 3.9 million experiencing moderate to severe symptoms. Children are particularly affected, with over 1.5 million in urgent need of support to cope with stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges. The disruption of education due to the relentless attacks exacerbates these issues.

In response to needs caused by the war, the humanitarian community launched the 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan for Ukraine on 15 January. The plan, appealing for US$ 3.1 billion, aims to assist 8.5 million most vulnerable people, including over 3.3 million in front-line areas. The humanitarian action focuses on providing multi-sectoral life-saving assistance and enabling access to basic services for war-affected people, including non-displaced, internally displaced and those who returned home after displacement. While front-line communities are a priority due to the severity of needs, humanitarians also support the people most in need across the country.

For more information, download the latest Ukraine Humanitarian Situation Snapshot.

Get involved

Share This