The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed food vouchers to 10,000 internally displaced people in northern Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, as part of an emergency operation to feed 120,000 people over the next six months, a UN spokesman told reporters here Friday.
"These families have mainly been displaced due to the ongoing fighting in the region, and can redeem the vouchers worth 45 (U.S.) dollars from local shops," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing. "This initial distribution of vouchers has injected nearly half a million dollars into the economy of host communities."
"WFP says access to food continues to be a priority concern," Dujarric said. "With high unemployment, lack of available hard currency, growing inflation and increased food prices, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to keep sufficient, nutritious food on the table. With the winter period approaching, the situation is expected to worsen."
More than 4,000 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since an armed conflict erupted in mid-April, when insurgents declared independence in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, reports said.