Conflict in eastern Ukraine in its seventh yearPublished: Jan 12, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine will enter its eight year in April. Although the conflict has faded from the headlines, the crisis continues. There are over 5 million people affected by the fighting, and a staggering 3.4 million of them are in need of humanitarian assistance. People in Need (PIN) is marking this grim milestone with three short animated videos that tell the collective story of Europe’s forgotten conflict. The actors may be fictitious, but the narratives they share are unfortunately very real.
Over 3,300 civilians have been killed, while more than 7,000 have been injured during the conflict. In 2020 alone, eight people died at crossing points along the 427-kilometer contact line separating government and non-government-controlled areas. Some 3.2 million people live within 20 kilometers of the contact line, and as the war drags on, they continue to face hostilities, food insecurity, a lack of access to healthcare, a dearth of job opportunities, and limited public transport.
Much like the characters of our animated series, these people are drivers, nurses, professors, and other ordinary citizens. They work and live in schools, healthcare facilities, and homes that are in desperate need of repair.
People in this region need emergency assistance in addition to mental health support. The elderly are among the most vulnerable, representing over 30 percent of those in need; children of vulnerable families make up an additional 20 percent.
Despite the prolonged conflict, the European Union and the ACCESS consortium, a group of humanitarian, non-governmental organizations, continue to provide aid to the people of eastern Ukraine. With funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, members of the ACCESS consortium – PIN, Médicos del Mundo, the ACTED in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives, Help Age International, and Right to Protection – have supported over 85,000 people on both sides of the contact line in 2019 and 2020.