Ukrainian Crisis Situational Analysis

Impact Initiatives
November 18, 2022
Situational Analysis

Executive Summary


In early October, Ukrainian forces continued recapturing areas of southern and eastern oblasts, notably Lyman (Donetsk oblast). The liberation of thousands of square kilometres resulted in the grim discovery of two new mass graves in Lyman and Sviatohirsk (containing of 120 civilian bodies). Shelling and missile strikes continue to cause the majority of casualties with 1,043 civilian casualties registered by OHCHR in October. Five waves of missile attacks on urban centres were recorder in October alone, leading to widespread disruption of energy supply with millions of citizens being deprived from electricity and water at times during the month.


The displacement figures have continued to follow a downward trend since August with a decrease of 297,000 IDPs in October compared to the previous month (4.5% drop). However, the number of returnees remains relatively static. Conflict and safety remain the biggest push/pull factors. The majority of IDPs continue to originate from, and reside in, the eastern part of Ukraine. Latest survey data indicates a significant increase of older persons within IDPs households. The number of refugees from Ukraine continues to increase in Europe with over 7.8 million individuals having fled their country, an increase of 200,000 people compared to the previous month.

Humanitarian Access

Humanitarian partners achieved to access newly liberated areas, despite the fuel challenges and risks from Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). However, physical limitations and threats continue to hamper access, notably the 1,500 military checkpoints across the country as well as the insecurity which puts humanitarian staff and volunteers’ health at risk. Martial law established by Russian authorities in Donetska, Kharkivska, Mikolaivska and Sumska oblasts is also a concern regarding access. Finally, persons with disabilities seem to face particular challenges when trying to access assistance, due to lack of mobility and a lack of sufficient aid.

Humanitarian Conditions

Livelihoods: Loss of livelihoods and income as a result of the conflict and subsequent displacement continue to impact millions of households in Ukraine. However, ILO expects the situation not too be as bad as feared with employment levels in 2022 estimated to be 15.5% below the 2021 (pre-conflict) level, equating to a loss of 2.4 million jobs. Financial assistance is still the main reported need with many households dependent on government assistance or humanitarian aid. Displaced households are overall more heavily affected than non-displaced households, with IDPs in collective centres reporting the lowest incomes. However, in surveys from Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv, much lower percentages of non-displaced households reported receiving humanitarian aid compared to the displaced.

Food Security: Eight million people in Ukraine have inadequate food consumption, an increase of 1.03M since the previous month. Populations in recently liberated areas and rural populations in oblasts close to the contact line are amongst the households most at risk. Also, a recent survey found that 31% of respondents from Kharkiv oblast stated that they could never access enough food when living under occupation, raising concerns for the food security situation in NGCA. On a positive note, the median cost of the JMMI basket in September fell by 2% compared to the previous month to now cost 1025 UAH. The basket consists of food and hygiene items and some of the drop was attributed to normal seasonal price fluctuations for produce. Families still report struggling to get enough food for babies and infants and many households are using negative coping mechanisms due to food insecurity and low incomes.

Health: Attacks on health facilities continue to heavily impact health services with a total of 631 attacks throughout the country having been verified by WHO Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care since the beginning of the war (as of October 26, 2022). This restricts access to primary care but also to specialized care, with a lack of specialized doctors. Even though the availability of medicines seems to be improving this month, the high prices is strongly limiting civilians to access them, medication for high blood pressure, for heart conditions and for pain being the ones lacking the most. This is putting a toll on the population’s health, especially for those with chronic illnesses. Furthermore, the upcoming of winter coupled with the lack of water is adding an additional threat on people’s wellbeing, respiratory diseases being the most common in winter.

Protection: The risk of violence due to armed conflict remains the main threat for civilians in Ukraine. Two mass graves were discovered in Lyman and Sviatohirsk after the takeover of the area by the Ukrainian troops, highlighting once again the serious breaches of international humanitarian law since the onset of the conflict. Civilians are also suffering from restricted freedom of movement, either due to insecurity, to martial law implemented by Russian authorities in non-government-controlled areas or to curfews established by Ukrainian authorities. Gender-based violence continues to be flagged by humanitarian actors as a major risk, with over 100 cases of sexual crimes investigated by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. Violence, displacement, family separation and trauma all contribute to increasing mental health issues and needs, vulnerable groups of population such as children, persons with disabilities and older persons being at heightened risk of violence and abuse.

Shelter: Widespread damage to residential housing and displacement are still driving shelter needs. Across Ukraine, 45% of IDPs, 18% of returnees and 16% of the non-displaced population reported their habitual residence had been damaged by the conflict, with lack of finances being the most common barrier to households affecting repairs. Disruption to utilities is making it harder for households to heat their homes and has led to an increasing need for solid fuel such as wood. There is also significant need for sleep items (beds, mattresses, and blankets) as well as other NFI items across many collective sites. Many still reside in accommodation that is deemed inadequate for the winter.

WASH: In the month of October, the five waves of missile attacks in urban centres across caused wide-scale disruptions to water supplies leaving millions of people without access or with limited access to drinking water. In addition to restricted access, contamination of water sources is a major concern for civilians, with 24% of respondents from IOM monitoring reporting such issues. This is particularly a problem as the consumption of unfiltered water is an increasingly used coping strategy. Moreover, the lack of water and of WASH facilities - notably in collective centres for displaced people- leads to increased risks of communicable disease outbreaks. The need for hygiene and menstrual products continues to remain high amongst IDPs as prices increase.

Education: Russian missile strikes on power infrastructure, often in Ukrainian urban centres, is leaving many schools without power and heating as well as posing a direct risk to children. This has resulted in more schools shifting to distance learning modalities. However, there are still widespread needs for electronic devices to facilitate online education, with the Ukrainian Government indicating that 175,734 laptops and 202,562 tablets are needed across the country. In addition, children’s ability to learn is being severely impacted by ongoing exposure to conflict related trauma and psychosocial stress. Almost 630,000 children have already received psychosocial support in the form of structured sessions to help them deal with the distressing effects of the war and displacement.

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