Since the beginning of the political and military crisis in the Ukraine in 2013, the humanitarian situation in the east of the country has been particularly alarming. The fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian forces have led to the secession of Crimea and the occupation of part of the Donbass region by the separatists. Shortages of all kinds mean that civilian populations live in extreme instability. In the two conflict-torn Donbass provinces, Donesk and Luhansk, 85% of the 5.2 million people are affected by the crisis. Despite repeated cease-fire attempts, the Ukrainian crisis has deteriorated into violent conflict.
In January 2016, the number of interior displaced persons (IDPs) in the Luhansk government-controlled region rose to 215,000, which is one-third of the population. In the non government-controlled areas of the two Donbass regions, 2.7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, and another 1 million civilians are on the front lines disputed by both sides. The vast majority of them (about three-quarters) are particularly vulnerable people—elderly, disabled or chronically ill—who need specialized care.