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Updated On: Thursday, 20 September 2018

As Ukraine Crisis Escalates, WFP Launches Food Aid for Civilians

Content by: South-South News

19 February 2015, New York, USA | Brendan Pastor – Recent spouts of violence in East Ukraine have thrown into question the recently established ceasefire agreement. The fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists has resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians, in addition to the million displaced by the violence already.

Complicating matters is the threat of starvation among the displaced families.

To combat the possibility of a hunger crisis, the World Food Programme has launched ration and voucher operations in the region, hoping to provide enough resources to keep the population in conflict-affected areas from suffering.

"The World Food Programme is providing food assistance in the form of food vouchers in the areas where markets are still functioning," Abeer Etefa, a WFP Spokesperson, said. "So this is the relatively stable area. Near the front lines, WFP is providing traditional food rations."

The humanitarian situation has deteriorated over the last few months in Donetsk and Luhansk with people fleeing their homes and taking refuge with extended families, in shelters, rented apartments and even in railway carriages.

Ivan, a 75 years old retiree, lived on the 4th floor of the destroyed building in Mykolaivka. He said "up there a woman was killed. All they found was pieces of her body below. 14 people were killed."

WFP is prioritizing food assistance to displaced elderly people and host communities caring for them.

Irena, a nurse, and 2 of her 3 children cook, recite prayers and eat their lunch. They were forced to flee the fighting in Luhansk when their house was destroyed last November.They are now staying in a friend's apartment in Kramatorsk. They received WFP food vouchers.

Irena said "can it be that a country that was as rich as ours was before cannot not feed itself and be dependent others to help it?"

WFP began its operations in Ukraine in August 2014 and has reached over 50,000 people with food vouchers and food parcel distributions at a cost of US$21.5 million. WFP needs an immediate US$9 million to continue to provide assistance until June.

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