The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said this week it’s started a distribution of food to 7,000 war victims in Eastern Ukraine. Teaming up with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the food will be given to hospital patients and students.
Anatoliy Begas, ADRA Ukraine Country Director, says, “We realized that due to increased food prices, low income and humanitarian crisis hospitals patients and students became more vulnerable.”
The food distributions will take place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. These are areas that have suffered the most from the conflict between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian rebels.
Giancarlo Stopponi , WFP Representative in Ukraine, says, “The conflict has resulted in shelling into residential areas resulting in deaths and injuries of civilians and destruction of property and infrastructure including, hospitals and schools. By providing food in these institutions, we want to ensure that these vulnerable population have access to sufficient nutritious food to stay healthy.”
WFP had never operated in the Ukraine until late 2014, when the conflict had escalated. Food shortages soon followed the fighting. Now WFP is planning to feed about 575,000 people by the end of the year.
Funding though is a major crisis in itself. WFP needs about US $20 million to provide food in the Ukraine until March 2016. If the conflict does not end, even more aid will be needed.