By Halimah Olamide
The World Food Programme has announced it is setting up its food relief system for the displaced people of Ukraine.
The WFP on its verified twitter handle lamented the displacement of at least one million people under one week after the invasion of the country by Russia.
“Displacement and hunger often follow the path of conflict, wherever it takes place. WFP is on the ground, setting up to provide food assistance all over Ukraine and in a number of neighbouring countries,” WFP wrote on Thursday
On its website, the programme said the relief would be extended to neighbouring countries where displaced people are currently taking shelters.
“We are deeply concerned for the impact of hostilities on the lives and livelihoods of civilians,” said Margot van der Velden, WFP’s Director of Emergencies. “As the situation evolves, there is a need to ensure that affected communities have continued access to any humanitarian support they may require and that the safety of humanitarian staff on the ground is guaranteed,” said WFP
Lamenting the humanitarian crisis already at hands, WFP said it is difficult to estimate the humanitarian consequences of the developing war.
It said figures from UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – estimates that more than a million Ukrainians have already fled the country and sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the beginning of the conflict.
“Miles-long traffic jams are being seen towards Ukraine’s neighbours to the west. The majority of the people fleeing to the Polish border are women and children, as men are not allowed to leave the country. The waiting time to cross the 14 km backlog into Poland can be up to 40 hours, with temperatures as low as -2°C at night. Families are desperate, cold, afraid and hungry.
“Food and drinking water shortages are reported in pockets of the capital Kyiv and in Kharkiv, the two cities currently bearing the brunt of the ongoing conflict.”