30,000 Ukrainians returning home every day, relief agencies say

30,000 Ukrainians returning home every day, relief agencies say
A family evacuated from Irpin, Kyiv region. Credit: UNICEF/Julia Kochetova

Of the 4.7 million people who have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion on 24 February, some 870,000 people have returned home to Ukraine, according to UN humanitarians.

The UN aid coordination office (OCHA), citing figures from the State Border Guard Service, said 30,000 people are crossing back into Ukraine every day, amid concerns about deteriorating food security inside the country.

“This significant figure suggests that migration back to Ukraine might continue increasing, potentially creating new challenges for the humanitarian response as people will need support to reintegrate into their communities or find suitable host communities if returning to their homes is no longer viable,” OCHA said in a statement.

Women with children and older people are among the largest group of returnees, in comparison with the beginning of the conflict when it was mostly men who were travelling back to Ukraine to fight in the war.

Of the 12 million people in need in Ukraine — seven million of them are internally displaced — humanitarians have reached 2.1 million of them, according to a recent update. However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that there are “immediate food insecurity issues” in nearly three in 10 oblasts.

50 days of violence

Russian troops have withdrawn from northern Ukraine after failing to take the capital Kyiv, however, fighting is now concentrated in the eastern and southern oblasts, "causing damage and civilian casualties and driving humanitarian needs."

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"Tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol — which has been an epicentre of horror since the conflict began — and in other locations around Ukraine have now endured 50 days of violence and shelling," UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said.

"More than 1,932 civilians have died since 24 February, including more than 150 children. This must stop."

OCHA also reported rockets strikes in central and northern Ukraine and cited Ukraine’s State Emergency Service (SESU), which said that 300,000 km2 - or almost half of Ukraine - requires demining.

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