E. Ukraine Situation Near Catastrophe, Say AI, UNHCR

E. Ukraine Situation Near Catastrophe, Say AI, UNHCRE. Ukraine Situation Near Catastrophe, Say AI, UNHCR

Eastern Ukraine is nearing a humanitarian catastrophe, as residents struggle to get food and medicine, human rights group Amnesty International said in a report. The UN refugee watchdog added that the elderly in the region could be severely hit by Kiev’s policies, RT reported.

People in the southeastern Lugansk and Donetsk regions are struggling financially and are barely scraping by, according to the deputy director of Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, Denis Krivosheev.

“While it may be too early to call this a humanitarian catastrophe, it’s clearly progressing in that direction,” Krivosheev said, adding that pensioners are the most vulnerable part of the population.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also expressed major concern for the elderly, pointing to Kiev’s dangerous decision to transfer payouts of social benefits and pensions to government-controlled areas.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said that not everyone is able to pick up and leave their homes in southeastern Ukraine. So, the most vulnerable are neglected as they fail to receive needed financial support.

According to UN figures, around 5.2 million people in Ukraine are living in conflict zones. Of that number, 1.4 million are in very vulnerable conditions and require assistance as they struggle with the cold winter, money problems, and lack of services.