West News Wire: Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UN agencies have launched an emergency plea for $1.7 billion to support individuals who have fled the nation and those who remain.

According to the UN, 12 million people in Ukraine will require relief and protection, and more than four million Ukrainian refugees will require assistance in neighboring countries in the coming months.

At a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, Martin Griffiths, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said, “The crisis has gone very ugly very fast.”

“This is the darkest hour for the people of Ukraine,” Griffiths said.

“We must turn that initial shock and disbelief and uncertainty about the days to come into compassion and solidarity with the millions of ordinary Ukrainians who now need emergency relief and protection.”

Up to 40 percent of the funds will be distributed to people directly in cash.

The aid programme also includes food, water and sanitation, support for healthcare and education services, and shelter assistance to rebuild damaged homes.

The plan also aims to support the authorities in maintaining and setting up transit and reception centres for displaced people.

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