Dand according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), during 2023, humanitarian organizations reported an average of four incidents per week that affected humanitarian operations in Ukraine.
According to OCHA, more than 30 of these incidents involved violence against humanitarian personnel and at least 55 were attacks that caused damage or destruction to humanitarian warehouses, facilities and assets. These were mainly concentrated in areas where fighting and hostilities were most intense and where humanitarian needs were high.
In December alone, five non-governmental organization warehouses were hit in Kherson Oblast, damaging tons of humanitarian aid items.
“The attacks caused the death of at least 15 humanitarian workers and injured another 35. Eleven of the humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty,” said the UN Office.
Bureaucratic impediments also affected the humanitarian response, the document added.
“The situation continued to be particularly worrying in the Russian-occupied zones, where serious impediments to the movement of humanitarian personnel and supplies and other bureaucratic obstacles made the response extremely limited in scale. Attempts to deliver humanitarian aid across the front line, including after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in June 2023, have been repeatedly denied by Russian authorities,” OCHA said.
In 2023, humanitarian partners reported 20 cases of delays or refusals to issue visas to humanitarian workers, most at the end of the year, when the Ukrainian government began to enforce the requirement that humanitarian workers apply for visas in their country of origin.
“Humanitarian movement within the country has also become more restricted in localized areas due to additional regulations and requirements in challenging security contexts or near international borders,” according to the UN Office.
According to the statement, there were 33 incidents involving restrictions on movement within the country during the year. Military recruitment of humanitarian personnel was an additional challenge, with at least 78 cases of humanitarian workers receiving recruitment notices in 2023.
The blockade of transport by Polish truck drivers on the Ukraine/Poland connection in November and December also impacted operations. Border issues have put pressure on the supply of humanitarian aid materials in Ukraine, reducing available transportation options and increasing the cost and time of transportation.
According to OCHA, 127 interagency humanitarian aid convoys were sent to Ukraine.
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