Kyiv (ICRC) – Thousands of families living in frontline areas are exposed to freezing temperatures, especially given that vital utilities such as water and electricity have been hard-hit by ongoing hostilities.
News release 22 January 2024

Jurg Eglin, ICRC’s Head of Delegation in Ukraine, said: “The struggle we are witnessing in rural and frontline communities is immense. The fighting has already forced thousands to flee. Those who remain face sub-zero temperatures, including the most vulnerable, children, people with disabilities and the elderly.”

The ICRC supported some 28,200 people (10,600 families) with cash, briquettes, firewood, or other essential items like stoves to help them keep warm this winter. The ICRC provided 5,147 tons of solid fuel to frontline and hard-to-reach areas, while quick-fix materials were distributed to help maintain family homes seriously damaged by ongoing hostilities. Earlier in 2023, more than 353,000 people in conflict-affected areas across the country were supported with cash to cover their varying needs.

Ahead of winter, the ICRC stepped up its response to support district heating companies, power plants and electrical infrastructure serving around 1.6 million people in affected areas. The support consisted of providing transformers, generators and undergoing repair work to public utility companies.

“The ICRC is one of few humanitarian actors able to assist communities in hard-to-reach areas, but this is not enough,” Mr. Eglin said. “The protections conveyed by international humanitarian law (IHL) to civilians and civilian infrastructure they rely on – including electricity, water and heating infrastructure – must be respected at all times.”

New footage from Ukraine available on the ICRC Video Newsroom