"International attention wanes on Ukraine war": UN warns of aid cuts threats
The war in Ukraine has lost international attention, and the conflict in the Gaza Strip is dominating the headlines. This may lead to a reduction in aid to Kyiv
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in an interview with Zeit.
He noted that Russia strikes Ukrainian cities every day, causing many people to lose their homes or become IDPs. After the Russian attack, Ukrainian society showed itself to be very strong and united, but two years later, tension is becoming noticeable.
"These fissures are becoming visible, and there is certainly a risk that they will become bigger as international support in all its forms diminishes," Grandi said.
According to him, the UNHCR and other aid agencies were well funded in 2022 and 2023, but this year there is a threat of cuts. The war in Ukraine has lost international attention, with the war in Gaza dominating the headlines. And with the three main donors - Germany, the US and the EU - the amount of aid for Ukraine has not yet been determined.
"The priority is houses, repairs - anything that gives people shelter," said Grandi about UNHCR's work in Ukraine.
Especially often new windows need to be installed.
Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, UNHCR, together with other humanitarian organizations and Ukrainian agencies, has repaired 27,500 homes. It is important, among other things, for refugees to return home.
The UN estimates that there are 3.7 million internally displaced people in Ukraine and another 6.3 million refugees in other countries.
"Ten million people are not living in their homes," the High Commissioner said.
Late last year, Ukraine's Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said that Kyiv might have to delay salaries for 500,000 civil servants and 1.4 million teachers, as well as payments to 10 million pensioners, if Western aid did not arrive. Later, she clarified that Ukraine has a plan B in case of a delay in receiving funds from foreign partners, but hopes that it will not be needed as the money will arrive on time.