More than 8 million internally displaced by war in Ukraine, says UN

Latest report finds nearly half are considering relocation due to scale of conflict and crisis

The number of people who have been internally displaced by the war Ukraine has exceeded the 8 million mark, an International Organisation for Migration report found.

The figure for the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of May 3, is up from the estimate of 7.7 million that the IOM gave as of April 17.

This is in addition to the more than 5.9 million Ukrainians who have left the country since Russia invaded on February 24.

The report showed that nearly half of IDPs – 44 per cent – were considering further relocation due to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the country.

"The needs of those internally displaced and all affected by the war in Ukraine are growing by the hour," said IOM director general Antonio Vitorino.

"Access to populations in need of aid remains a challenge amid active hostilities but our teams are committed to continue delivering urgent assistance inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries."

The IOM conducted its latest survey between April 29 and May 3, with 63 per cent of the IDPs estimated to be women.

Almost half fled their homes in the eastern region of Ukraine, where Russia is now concentrating its assault.

Antonio Vitorino, director general of the IOM, says the needs of Ukrainian refugees are growing by the hour. Reuters

More than 3.9 million people are estimated to have fled their homes in the east; 1.65 million have fled the Kyiv region and 1.3 million have fled the north.

The survey found that 36 per cent of IDPs – 2.9 million people – are now in the relatively safer west of the country.

The IOM study suggested financial support was the overwhelming requirement of IDPs, with shelter another pressing need.

"Nine per cent of all people surveyed in the latest report, including those not internally displaced, indicated that their homes were damaged or destroyed," the IOM said.

"Among the internally displaced alone, this figure rose to 27 per cent. Every one out of 10 people surveyed said that they would need materials to fix damaged homes."

The assessment was conducted through interviews with 2,000 anonymous respondents aged over 18 who were contacted at random by telephone.

The survey is used by the IOM to gather insights into internal displacement and mobility and to assess humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

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Updated: May 10, 2022, 2:43 PM