Geneva, 2 March 2022 (TDI): The United Nations have launched an emergency aid appeal for refugee humanitarian needs in Ukraine. It is requesting $1.7bn to help people who have fled the country and are internally displaced.

António Guterres said that the UN is launching two plans to help people across Ukraine and beyond. This fund includes boosting medicine & health supplies, safe drinking water, shelter & protection. He urged the international community to respond to these life-saving appeals.


The UN estimates that 12 million people in Ukraine will need relief and protection. It is estimated that in the coming months, about four million Ukrainian refugees may need protection in neighbouring countries.

Guterres thanked the Member States that have kept their borders open to people fleeing the violence. He urged to help people in Ukraine because electricity, water, food and medicine supplies have been disrupted as bombs have damaged roads.

Humanitarian Response Categories
Internally Displaced

The UN Emergency Relief Chief, Martin Griffiths said the purpose of an immediate humanitarian funding appeal was to help Ukraine people. These people also include internally displaced and those seeking shelter beyond its borders.

Griffith said that the crisis has turned very ugly and this is the darkest hour for the people of Ukraine. He said that Ukrainians need emergency relief and protection.

He said the world must turn its initial shock and uncertainty about the coming days into compassion and solidarity.

The Refugees

The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi appealed for $550 million for the refugee agency and 12 partner agencies. He shared that 520,000 people were estimated to have been displaced by the Ukraine crisis the night before.

Grandi said that in the past six days, in a few hours, 677,000 refugees have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries. This number is estimated at around 150,000 in less than 24 hours.

Third country Refugees

There are reports that third-country refugees have been badly treated at border crossings and internally in Ukraine. They were trying to seek shelter.

The UN Refugee Chief insisted that there should be absolutely no discrimination between Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians. He said everybody is fleeing from the same risk, whether they are European or non-Europeans.

Grandi said that the European Union is discussing the possibility of giving temporary protection status to refugees from Ukraine. This will introduce a new dimension to the many years of debate on asylum status and sharing responsibility.

He shared that the UNHCR has already received more than $40 million in private contributions from individuals or companies. The head of the UNHCR warned that vulnerable people will flee to Ukraine if further urban areas are hit.

Grandi told reporters that UNHCR has recorded 677,000 people fleeing from Ukraine to neighbouring countries. Half of those are currently in Poland. Queues along the border are now tens of kilometres long, and some people are waiting for days to cross.

He added that about 90,000 refugees were in Hungary and thousands in other neighbouring countries like Moldova, Slovakia and Romania. The total number of Ukrainian refugees as estimated by UNHCR had increased by 150,000 within 24-hours.

Grandi criticised instances where non-Ukrainians fleeing the country had reportedly suffered discrimination. He said this did not appear to be the result of government policies.
He said that the UN is looking at this situation, which could become Europe’s largest refugee crisis of the century.

Humanitarian Aid Plan

UN has estimated that $1.1 billion is required to help Ukraine for three months. It will help six million vulnerable in Ukraine, as the escalating conflict has triggered demand for aid.

Guterres said that the UN and their partners are now working 24-7 to assess humanitarian needs. This particularly includes women, children, older people and.’Persons with Disabilities’ (PWDs). This will distribute up to 40 percent of the funds to people directly in cash.

The aid programme also includes food, water, sanitation, healthcare, education services, and shelter assistance to rebuild damaged homes.

The plan also aims to support the authorities in maintaining and setting up transit and reception centres for displaced people.