Ukraine homeless tally nears one million, says UNHCR

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Displaced civilians seeks shelter in a tent in Slovyansk. © UNHCR/B. Kinashchuk

The recent upsurge in fighting in Ukraine has pushed the number of internally displaced to 980,000, latest UN figures show.

UN refugee agency UNHCR says around 3,000 civilians have been evacuated from conflict zones in the east of the country in areas still controlled by the government, while others remain trapped in rebel-held areas.

Ahead of the launch of a new appeal for $41.5 million on Monday, UNHCR said the plight of civilians on the front line has been aggravated by the lack of access and destruction of public buildings, as Daniel Johnson reports.

Heavy fighting in Ukraine has pushed the number of homeless people to close to a million while civilians remain trapped in conflict zones, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

Following a surge in the conflict in the east of the country, UNHCR estimates the number of internally displaced people at 980,000.

So far nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from towns on the frontline in the Donetsk region by car, bus and train.

But many are still trapped by the fighting and getting aid in remains difficult.

Here's UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards.

"Heavy fighting in the Donetsk region over the last two weeks has resulted in massive destruction of buildings and infrastructure and in the collapse of basic services there…The surge in fighting has further limited the supply of urgently needed goods in conflict areas."

Mr Edwards said those who have escaped the fighting lack basic winter clothing as the agency prepares a new request for $41.5 million for 2015.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 0"59

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