UN Chief Calls for Increased Aid to Ukraine Migrants


- The International Organization for Migration's Director General Amy Pope has concluded a five-day visit to Ukraine with a plea for greater global solidarity and humanitarian support. 

Her visit was warmly welcomed by Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. "We are grateful to IOM for helping Ukrainian families. First of all, with housing. This is a top priority for those whose lives have been shattered by the war," he said, adding that Ukraine counts on IOM's continued support.   

Director General Pope arrived in Kyiv after a journey through heavily damaged areas, including Odesa and Mykolaiv. She paid tribute to the resilience of the Ukrainian people, and the recovery efforts led by local and national authorities, while warning that much more aid was still needed. 

"I am inspired and humbled by the strength of those I've met - women who have traveled from regions that were under active attack, who left with very little but the clothes on their back and their children in their car," said Pope after meeting displaced people at an IOM-supported shelter in the frontline city of Mykolaiv. 

Among them was Liudmyla, displaced from Kherson who told Pope: "A rocket hit our building, but we survived. The glass shattered. We managed to cover ourselves with blankets to avoid injuries. Then we ran out to the car and left. We weren't able to take anything with us." 

The visit began one day after attacks took the lives of dozens of civilians in the east and south of Ukraine, prompting the Director General to warn that the humanitarian situation is actually worsening for many. 

"These constant attacks remind us of the tremendous resilience of Ukrainians and their immediate needs," she said. "Displaced people and host communities need urgent assistance as they continue to endure missile strikes, destruction of infrastructure, and frequent power cuts." 

IOM estimates more than 3.3 million people, including 800,000 children, living along the frontlines are in dire need of emergency assistance. 

As the war enters a protracted phase at least 14.6 million people - a staggering 40 per cent of Ukraine's population - require humanitarian aid. This number continues to grow each day. 

Pope's journey began at the Palanca border crossing near Chisinau, Moldova, where IOM has provided aid to thousands of displaced persons from Ukraine en route to the European Union. Travelling on to Mykolaiv and Odesa, she met officials and visited several sites where IOM has reconstructed essential infrastructure damaged by the war.  

On the third day of her visit the Director General was received by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko. Pope signed renewed bilateral cooperation agreements with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy. These focus on recovery and reconstruction, with an emphasis on economic revitalization. 

At a roundtable discussion with donors in Kyiv on Thursday, Director General Pope called on the international community to "stay the course in assisting Ukraine and not turn away at this critical moment." 

IOM's three-year strategy for Ukraine includes strengthening collaboration with the Government to provide comprehensive programming across all sectors, with an emphasis on building capacity of partners at the most local levels. While addressing immediate humanitarian needs, IOM's interventions also focus on restoring livelihoods, building community resilience, and putting in place durable solutions for longer-term recovery. 

According to the recently launched IOM Strategic Response Plan for Ukraine and Neighbouring Countries, IOM requires USD 1.5 billion for response programming in Ukraine and 11 countries within the region over the next three years.  In Ukraine alone, an estimated USD 370.3 million is required in 2024. 


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