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WORLD | 15-04-2022 16:29

More than five million people have fled Ukraine since Russian invasion, UN figures show

According to Friday UN figures, more than five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, in Europe's fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

More than five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, UN figures showed on Friday, in Europe's fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,796,245 million Ukrainians had left the country since February 24.

The UN's International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says nearly 215,000 third-country nationals have also escaped to neighbouring countries.

Friday's figures from the UNHCR were up 59,774 on those issued Thursday.

Women and children account for 90 percent of those who escaped, with men aged 18 to 60 eligible for military call-up and unable to leave. Nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been forced from their homes, including those still inside the country.

The nearly 215,000 third-country nationals who have fled — people who are citizens of neither Ukraine nor the country they entered — are largely students and migrant workers.

Beyond the refugees, the IOM estimates 7.1 million people have left their homes but are still in Ukraine.


Numbers in neighbouring countries

Here is a breakdown of how many Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UNHCR.

Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees — 2,720,622 so far — have crossed into Poland, according to the UN.

The World Health Organisation said Poland had made 7,000 hospital beds available for the sick and wounded from Ukraine, of which 20 percent were currently in use.

A total of 726,857 Ukrainians have entered Romania, including a large number who crossed over from Moldova, wedged between Romania and Ukraine. 

Another 484,725 refugees have sought shelter in Russia. In addition, 105,000 people crossed into Russia from the separatist-held pro-Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine between February 18 and 23.

A total of 447,053 Ukrainians have entered Hungary. 

The Moldovan border is the closest to the major port city of Odessa. A total of 419,499 Ukrainians have crossed into the non-EU state, one of the poorest in Europe.

329,597 people crossed Ukraine's shortest border into Slovakia, and another 22,827 refugees have made it north to Russia's close ally Belarus.


Children in Moldova

Most of those who have entered Moldova have moved on to other countries, but an estimated 100,000 remain, including 50,000 children — of whom only 1,800 are enrolled in schools.

"Refugee children from Ukraine have fled a brutal war and have arrived dispossessed and traumatised in Moldova. They are very vulnerable and need immediate support," said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

"Public schools are open to refugee children; however, the capacity is over-stretched and there is a need for urgent mental health and psycho-social services, sanitation, and teachers."


— TIMES/AFP
 

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