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CARE Statement: Conflict escalation in Ukraine

As conflict reignites in Ukraine CARE is deeply concerned about the protection of civilians. Our thoughts are with all those in affected regions. Violence is never the solution.

We urge all parties to the conflict to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities and to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law. 

We must not underestimate the human suffering of renewed conflict in Ukraine – it will result in increased civilian casualties, massive displacement and soaring humanitarian needs. This conflict escalation will lead to a devastating impact on already damaged civil infrastructure, further restricting peoples’ movements and disrupt essential public services such as water, power, transport, markets and banking. 

Before any of the most recent developments, some 2.9 million were already in need of humanitarian assistance. Each day is a struggle for millions. Water, gas, and electricity supplies are limited. The combination of cold, Covid-19, limitations on movement, and chronic uncertainty make meeting basic needs a challenge. After eight years of conflict, the humanitarian needs are already significant.

This context becomes yet more complex as people look to flee to safety. It is currently winter in Ukraine, with temperatures plummeting well below zero in some parts of the country. This adds additional challenges to survival should millions be forced to flee their homes without provisions or shelter.

CARE is particularly worried about the situation for women and girls in this conflict. They are particularly at risk when it comes to gender-based violence, exploitation, discrimination, and poor access to vital health services. For example, in the conflict-affected areas pregnant and breastfeeding women already lack access to sexual and reproductive health services, such as prenatal and postnatal care or safe childbirth options.