The United Nations warns that its humanitarian mission in the Ukraine is in serious jeopardy due to lack of funds. The year long conflict between the government and pro-Russian rebels has caused massive displacement and disruption of basic services for civilians.
Food supplies have dwindled and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) was called in last year to provide assistance. In a new report, the UN says its food security activities must be scaled up with adequate financial support.
WFP is trying to feed at least 190,000 displaced civilians in Eastern Ukraine. In recent days, WFP has been able to bring food into Donetsk and Luhansk, two areas where the conflict has been intense.
However, the UN food agency and its partners depend on voluntary donations. If these do not arrive in a timely manner, food will not be available for the war victims.
The strain of wars in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan has drained resources for food aid in Ukraine and other areas. The international community will need to increase its humanitarian response.
The UN is also urging the stockpiling of food in case of an escalation of conflict, which could block access to certain areas. However, without funding these preparations cannot take place.