23. February 2024

Ukraine: 42 Civilian Casualties Every Day in Two Years of War (NGO-Statement)

Two years since the escalation of war in Ukraine, more than 10,500 civilians have been killed, including 587 children, as constant bombardments, mines, and drone attacks have left a generation traumatized, displaced and fearful for their lives, said more than 50 members of the Humanitarian NGO Platform in Ukraine.

With an average of 42 civilians killed and wounded per day, and recent months being particularly deadly, the group, made up of local and international organisations working in the country, is calling for the immediate protection of civilians, and reminds member states of promises made to tackle dire humanitarian needs of people in Ukraine.

More than 87% of the people killed, or 9,241 people, are casualties of explosive weapons, with many of the injuries life-changing in nature, including the loss of limbs or eyesight. The number is understood to be a vast undercount, as the UN continues to corroborate the figures. At the same time, people across Ukraine far from the frontlines also need support to rebuild their lives and recover.

“My daughter is growing up in the basement now,” says Sviatlana. She and her 7-year-old daughter decided to stay in Kherson, an area that comes under heavy bombardment... “The longest time we had in the dark without electricity was 1.5 months, so now when there is a blackout I try to joke with my daughter, ‘what is one day, we already had way worse’. …Now there is only waiting and surviving. She is just a kid and wants to play outside on the playground, but she cannot leave the basement.

Two years of renewed fighting has destroyed lives, homes and livelihoods, leaving 14.6 million people, including nearly 3 million children, in desperate need of humanitarian assistance across Ukraine. Nearly 80% of those in need of aid also require mental health support. The poverty level in Ukraine increased five-fold – 24 percent up from 5 percent – in 2022 alone.

Because of ongoing violence, about 4 million people are still displaced within Ukraine and more than 5.9 million were forced to flee to neighboring countries. Even though 67% of those internally displaced say they want to return home someday, many are unable to return to their homes as the war has shattered their communities, and livelihoods. Many displaced people struggle to integrate in their new communities, where it is difficult to find jobs and housing. Women make up 58% of the internally displaced, and are more likely than men to experience unemployment and dependency on humanitarian aid.

Vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by the ongoing war. Existing inequalities, including those facing children, Roma people, LGBTQIA+ people, older people and people with disabilities, are only increasing as the long-term, as compounding effects of the crisis drive specific needs.

Joanna Garbalinska, Director of the Humanitarian NGO Platform in Ukraine, said:

“As the war continues, life is far from normal. Civilians are living day-to-day under the threat of missiles and shells, which continue to hit populated civilian areas, inflicting death and destruction to areas near and far from the frontlines.

“The Humanitarian NGO Platform in Ukraine calls for all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure to cease immediately, particularly in dense urban areas, as they may amount to grave violations of international humanitarian law. Civilians must always be protected from violence.

Today marks a grim milestone of the war in Ukraine. As the fighting heads into its third year since the escalation, humanitarian agencies in Ukraine remind member states of promises made to tackle this crisis. Today, humanitarian support is more needed than ever. Long-term funding commitments for humanitarian and recovery efforts – with Ukrainian civil society in the lead – are critical for the safety of civilians and for Ukraine’s future.”

The Humanitarian NGO Platform in Ukraine (hereinafter the NGO Platform) is an independent coordination body with 78 Ukrainian and international NGO members who are operational and delivering humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. The NGO Platform is dedicated to serving and facilitating the work of its members to efficiently and effectively address the humanitarian needs of conflict affected people.

NGO Signatories
"БО ""МБФ ""Руки друзів""// Friends' Hands
Action Against Hunger (ACF)
arche noVa
Caritas Ukraine
Caritas Zaporizhzhia
Corus International
CUAMM - Doctors with Africa
Danish Refugee Council
Estonian Refugee Council
FHI 360
Fida International Ukraine
Finn Church Aid
Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International (HI)
humedica e.V.
International Rescue Committee
La Chaîne de L’espoir
Lutheran World Federation
MAG (Mines Advisory Group)
Médecins du Monde International Network
Medical Teams International
Mercy Corps
Nonviolent Peaceforce
Norwegian Refugee Council
People in Need
Plan International
Premiere Urgence Internationale
Right to Protection
Save the Children
Solidarités international
Stichting Vluchteling (The Netherlands Refugee Foundation)
Terre des Hommes
Паросток// Parostok
UK-Med Ukraine
Ukrainian Red Cross Society
Українська фундація громадського здоров‘я // Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health
World Vision International
ГО "Дівчата”// NGO “Girls”
ГО «ГІ Допоможемо Разом» //NGO “Will Help Together”
Єдність чеснот//NGO “Unity of Virtue”