"Urgent" humanitarian access needed in eastern Ukraine

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In Ukraine, cash and food voucher assistance by WFP allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Vulnerable communities caught in the middle of a conflict in eastern Ukraine urgently need relief aid, the UN Humanitarian Chief has said.

Stephen O'Brien concluded a three-day visit to Ukraine on Thursday and called for "sustained and unimpeded access" to conflict-affected people.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Around four million people in the east of Ukraine need assistance and protection as a result of an ongoing conflict between government forces and rebels.  

Many do not have access to basic supplies and services, including food, clean water supply and heating fuel.

People are also not able to move freely to seek medical assistance or make a living.

Mr O'Brien said the top priority was to quickly scale up the coordination and delivery of aid for the most vulnerable people, especially the elderly and ill.

Here's the UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

"He said he went to Ukraine to see first-hand the consequences of the conflict in the east of the country on civilians and those forced to flee their homes. Some four million people in eastern Ukraine need assistance and protection."

The Ukrainian authorities are no longer in control of some eastern parts of the country.

The conflict between the government and opposition rebels began in April 2014.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'01"

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