UNHCR assistance to conflict-affected population in Avdiivka [UPDATED]

UNHCR is closely following the situation in Avdiivka. Increased fighting in the recent days has led to more destruction and suffering for local residents. We are concerned about thousands of people trapped under fire without electricity, water and heating with temperatures reaching -18C. Our partners are already on the ground assessing damage to houses and acute needs of population. UNHCR Ukraine has sent trucks to Avdiivka with emergency shelter materials to cover broken roofs and windows and other basic relief items. 

THURSDAY, 02 February

As of today, according to State Emergency Service update, in total 181 people evacuated from Avdiivka including 95 children. This figure includes two evacuation – to Sviatohirsk (9 adults and 17 children) and to Slovyansk (5 adults and 1 child).

One of the latest developments in Avdiivka is that school #7 has opened today with 225 children showing up to the classes.

SES also reports nearly 5,500 people visited centrally located heating points since they have been opened.

This morning UNHCR truck with aid for people evacuated from Avdiivka arrived in Sviatohirsk. Our colleagues have brought bedding sets, towels and warm jackets for 81 arrivals, which are accommodated in the Perlyna Donetchyny sanatorium. We are thankful to partners Charity Fund "Slavic Heart", Right to Protection and Station Kharkiv for providing support and the Office of Donetsk Governor Pavlo Zhebrivsky for ensuring free accommodation and meals to children and their mothers. While more food parcels are expected from WFP and Akhmetov Fund, hygiene kits will be provided by Save the Children in Ukraine.

WEDNESDAY, 01 February

On February 1, our colleagues from Mariupol reached Avdiivka that suffers from escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine. Intensified fighting led to more destruction and suffering. A community of 22,000 remains without electricity. Scarce water supply and heating is hardly sufficient to cover needs of the town under shelling. As temperatures dropping, locals come to the heating camp at the stadium to get warmer and to have hot meals.


The mission started with coordination meeting with Donetsk Governor, Mr. Zhebrivsky, and Avdiivka authorities. 


UNHCR and partners continue assessment of destruction and distributions of shelter materials and basic relief item to cover damaged homes. In total, 60 families have received our shelter supplies as of Wednesday noon. 


We are also monitoring the situation in Sviatohirsk, town that received the first buses with evacuees from Avdiivka on Wednesday afternoon. New arrivals include the most vulnerable, including unaccompanied and pre-school children. Our partner NGOs in Svyatohirsk -  “Slavic Heart”  and “Right to Protection” -  are monitoring reception conditions and needs for assistance.  

To cover possible demand, UNHCR is sending to Sviatohirsk a stock of basic relief items for 500 people, including bedding sets, towels, blankets and winter clothes.

TUESDAY, 31 January

According to the reports received from local authorities, some 20 houses are damaged daily by shelling in Avdiivka. Since escalation erupted last weekend, our local partners - NGO Vozrozhdenie and Humanitarian Mission Proliska scaled up the distribution of shelter materials for emergency repairs and basic relief items such as buckets and jerry cans to families living near the hotspots. Since Wednesday our Mariupol team is also working in Avdiivka, distributing assistance to people.

On Tuesday evening UNHCR has dispatched humanitarian cargo with additional plastic sheets and essentials for 2,000 people in Avdiivka. The most vulnerable individuals will receive blankets, bedding sets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and warm clothing.

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