More than 8 million people will flee Ukraine as refugees, U.N. predict…




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A Ukrainian refugee speaks with a local interpreter as she and her two children arrive at the Siret border crossing between Romania and Ukraine on April 18. Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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A Ukrainian refugee speaks with a local interpreter as she and her two children arrive at the Siret border crossing between Romania and Ukraine on April 18.

Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) expected that some 4 million people would flee the country throughout the time of the war.

In fact, that’s how many Ukrainians left their homeland in just about the first month of the conflict. And that number surpassed 5 million last week.

The UNHCR now projects that some 8.3 million refugees will leave Ukraine, and the agency is calling for more financial sustain for them and their great number countries.

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It’s bringing together 142 organizations including U.N. agencies, Red Cross societies, nongovernmental organizations and faith-based institutions to revise what it calls its “Regional Refugee Response Plan” consequently.

UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday that the plan will prioritize food security, education, basic needs, sanitation, resilience and logistics, in addition as transitional cash assistance.

“Launching an updated Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) for the Ukraine situation yesterday, UNHCR and partners are seeking US$1.85 billion to sustain a projected 8.3 million refugees in neighbouring countries, namely Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, in addition as other countries in the vicinity, including Belarus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic,” she said.

Mantoo acknowledged that countries in the vicinity have welcomed refugees since the start of the war, calling the mobilization of national authorities, great number communities, grassroots organizations and volunteers “exceptional.”

And while they have existing mechanisms to respond to the arrival of refugees, Mantoo said, “The extent of refugee arrivals and the breadth of their needs requires further sustain for national social protection systems and sets.”

The response plan aims to ensure Ukrainian refugees have access to humanitarian assistance, safety and international protection, while also promoting social and economic opportunities, she additional.

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According to the UNHCR, some 7.7 million Ukrainians keep displaced inside of their home country, while another 13 million are estimated to be stranded in affected areas and unable to leave because of security risks. Of those who have been forced to flee their homes, 90% are women and children.

The agency says more “strong and flexible funding” will play a basic role in allowing nearby countries to sustain and protect this growing population of refugees. Mantoo additional: “Until we see an end to this war, humanitarian needs will continue to grow and displacement will not cease.”

This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

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