PACE rapporteur on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine to visit Kyiv and Kharkiv

Jim Sheridan (United Kingdom, SOC), PACE rapporteur on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, will be visiting Kyiv and Kharkiv on 17 and 18 November. The visit will focus on the situation of persons displaced internally within Ukraine by the conflict in the eastern part of the country and the annexation of Crimea.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of 7 November 2014, over 454,000 persons had registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine. 435,000 from eastern Ukraine and 19,000 from Crimea. The OCHA estimates however the actual number of IDPs to be 2-3 times higher, as most do not register. “With the risk that the security situation deteriorates further, the number of affected people is regrettably continuing to rise. As Ukraine’s harsh winter approaches, this poses a threat to the country’s capacity to accommodate IDPs in other parts of Ukraine, as well as to the humanitarian situation in the country as a whole,” Mr Sheridan stressed ahead of his visit.

Over 110,000 IDPs have settled in the Kharkiv region, where the rapporteur is due to meet representatives of the State Emergency Service and local authorities responsible for responding to the protection needs of IDPs, as well as local NGOs addressing these needs. He will also visit facilities for the registration and accommodation of IDPs and the distribution of humanitarian aid.
In Kyiv, the rapporteur will meet the most relevant national authorities including the Vice-Prime Minister and the Ukrainian delegation to PACE as well as representatives of other international organisations and local NGOs.

The rapporteur will on 8-10 December be visiting Russia, which has also received large numbers of persons fleeing the conflict in eastern Ukraine.