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Ukraine: Missile strikes threaten millions facing cold and hungry winter 

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5 December 2022 Humanitarian Aid

A UN Spokesperson said on Monday that another wave of missile strikes in Ukraine has further damaged the country’s energy system, leaving millions of people without electricity and water as temperatures dip below freezing. 

At the regular press briefing in New York, Associate Spokesperson Stéphanie Tremblay told journalists that according to UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA, citing local authorities, strikes affected regions in the north, centre and south, as well as the capital, Kyiv.  

“In Odesa, the water supply has been compromised due to the lack of electricity to run the pumps, and the heating system in Dnipro and Odesa have also been impacted”, she detailed.  

“In addition, 40 per cent of the Kyiv region was left without electricity”.   

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Left in the cold  

Ms. Tremblay said attacks have further damaged Ukraine’s power grid, “at a time when temperatures have dropped below zero in most of the country and reached -8 degrees in Kyiv”.  

Repeated attacks on the energy system are putting millions of civilians at risk of freezing, particularly those living on the front lines, without access to heating, water, and essential services.  

Help staying warm 

Fortunately, she continued, aid workers continue to support the Ukrainian authorities with generators to keep hospitals working; centres for the displaced to keep warm; and helping prepare thousands of facilities as temporary heating points.  

“We have distributed more than 400 generators, and more are arriving in the coming days”, the spokesperson continued. “We also provided warm clothes, heating appliances and home repairs for more than 630,000 people”.  

And in the Kherson region, the UN has delivered another 10 truckloads of critical supplies to two communities in the outskirts of Kherson city, including health kits enough to treat 20,000 patients for three months; hygiene kits for 6,000 people; and critical household items, including blankets, mattresses, and other supplies to 1,500 families.  

Feeding families 

At the same time, she said that despite the challenges sparked by conflict-induced lack of basic services in the country, last month, the World Food Programme (WFP) has assisted close to 2.8 million people with food and cash support.  

WFP noted that the main priority for December remains to consistently respond to the dire needs of those in the worst impacted areas through timely life-saving assistance.   

“Overall, since the start of WFP operations in the country in February of this year, more than 137,000 metric tonnes of food have been delivered to partners, intended for people impacted by war and in need living across the country”, Ms Tremblay concluded. 

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