Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine deepens as war reaches 2nd year


(MENAFN) Two years after Russia initiated its war on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the toll on human lives and infrastructure remains staggering. The casualty count from the conflict has reached into the tens of thousands, while countless more individuals have been displaced, and entire cities have been reduced to ruins. The material devastation caused by the war is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

According to a recent report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), approximately 14.6 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance in the present year, with 3.7 million internally displaced persons among them. Since February 2022, over 4,000 attacks on educational facilities and more than 1,300 attacks on healthcare institutions have been documented. Additionally, over 1.5 million homes have been destroyed as a result of the conflict.

The United Nations has projected that the total cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has surged to approximately USD486 billion as of December, a significant increase from the previous estimation of USD411 billion in 2022. The IRC report has highlighted the extensive presence of landmines across an area equivalent to the size of Romania, while the explosion of the southern Nova Kakhkova dam in June has left 600,000 hectares of arable land without irrigation.

According to data from the Kyiv-based Centre for Economic Strategy (CES), Ukraine's unemployment rate, which stood at around 10 percent before the conflict, skyrocketed to over 30 percent during the war before gradually declining to its current level of 17 percent. Food insecurity has emerged as a pressing issue throughout the duration of the conflict, with the rate rising to as high as 30.3 percent and currently standing at 19.2 percent.

Economically, the war has taken a heavy toll on Ukraine's trade balance. In January 2022, exports and imports were at comparable levels of approximately USD7.5 billion. However, the onset of conflict precipitated a collapse in the trade balance, resulting in negative levels. As of December, the trade balance stood at minus USD3.7 billion, underscoring the profound economic ramifications of the ongoing war on Ukraine's economy.

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