World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN refugee agency: ‘sharp rise’ in people fleeing Ukraine

UN refugee agency warns of ‘sharp rise’ in people fleeing eastern Ukraine

27 June 2014

Some 16,400 people fled their homes in crisis-riven eastern Ukraine during the past week, bringing the number of displaced within the country to 54,000, according the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“Many cite a deteriorating situation and fear of abduction for the sharp rise in displacement,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming, adding “Increases were also being seen in the numbers of Ukrainians in Russia and other countries, although so far only a small number had applied for refugee status.”
Since the start of 2014, approximately 110,000 Ukrainians had arrived in Russia – with only 9,600 requesting asylum – while more than 700 others went to Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Romania.

"Most people are seeking other forms of legal stay, often we are told because of concerns about complications or reprisals in case of return to Ukraine," Ms. Fleming explained, as she briefed reporters in Geneva

Over the past few days, arrivals clustered mainly in Rostov-On-Don and Byransk. In Rostov, 12,900 people – including 5,000 children – were being accommodated in public buildings and tented camps. In Bryansk, the majority were staying with relatives and friends. UNHCR was also seeing unconfirmed reports of other recent arrivals in Russia from eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea.

The acute rise in numbers over the past week coincided with the recent deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Displaced people cited worsening law and order, human rights violations and the disruption of State services are among the complex myriad of reasons for the poulation flows.

“Some reported they had lost their livelihoods and feared they would be unable to continue working with Ukrainian professional licences while others feared being forced to acquire Russian citizenship. And some said they had received personal threats on account of their political opinion or ethnic or linguistic background,” Ms. Fleming elaborated.

Unable to verify all information on displacement, UNHCR has had to rely on local and central authorities; partners; and civil society organizations.
“Insecurity in some areas of Ukraine was hampering access to many areas where displaced people were located,” stressed Ms. Fleming.

Challenges faced by the displaced included access to social services; long-term shelter and employment; and difficulties transferring residence registration.

Ms. Fleming noted, “Most people were provided with temporary shelter and assistance from local authorities, non-governmental organization and donations of private citizens. UNHCR began distributing humanitarian assistance to those displaced in the East while supporting the local authorities in Sviatohorsk – the town with the largest concentration of internally displaced people.”

One journalist questioned the UNHCR spokesperson on whether the Ukrainian President’s intention to sign an agreement with the European Union could trigger further flight and if reports were valid that people arriving in Russia were being killed for speaking Russian.

“The reasons for displacement were sporadic fighting, armed groups, people afraid, people unable to work, human rights violations and people feeling threatened because of their ethnic background,” Ms. Fleming responded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news