Brussels – Europe is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in years following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the number of Ukrainians internally displaced could reach more than 7 million, European Union officials say.
“We are witnessing signs of the worst humanitarian crisis on our European continent in years. The (refugee) needs continue to increase as we speak,” said Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management and Humanitarian Assistance.
“So for the overall humanitarian situation, the current number of Ukrainian refugees is estimated at more than 7 million,” he said at a press conference in Brussels after a special meeting of interior ministers of European Union member states to discuss the crisis.
Citing UN estimates, Lenarcic said some 18 million Ukrainians would be affected by conflict, in humanitarian terms, in the country or in neighboring countries.
As many as 7 million Ukrainians fled across the country and 4 million fled to neighboring countries.
“While these estimates are very rough, the numbers are huge, and we have to be prepared for emergencies of this kind, which are part of history,” Lenarcic said. Ant/Ner