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More than five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, UN figures showed in Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,796,245 million Ukrainians had left the country since February 24. The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) says nearly 215,000 third-country nationals have also escaped to neighboring countries.
Friday’s figures from the UNHCR were up 59,774 on those issued Thursday. More than 2.7 million Ukrainian refugees – nearly six in 10 who have left since the war began have fled to Poland. More than 725,000 reached Romania. UNHCR figures show nearly 645,000 Ukrainians fled in February. Nearly 3.4 million did so in March and more than 760,000 left so far this month. Women and children account for 90 percent of those who escaped, with men aged 18 to 60 eligible for military call-up and unable to leave. Nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been forced from their homes, including those still inside the country.
The nearly 2,15,000 third-country nationals have fled. People who are citizens of neither Ukraine nor the country they entered are largely students and migrant workers. Beyond the refugees, the IOM estimates that 7.1 million people have left their homes but are still in Ukraine. Before the invasion, Ukraine had a population of 37 million in the regions under government control. Excluding Russia-annexed Crimea and the pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions in the east. Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees — 2,720,622 so far have crossed into Poland, according to the UN. Many people who go to Ukraine’s immediate western neighbors travel on to other states.
The World Health Organization said Poland had made 7,000 hospital beds available for the sick and wounded from Ukraine. Of which 20 percent were currently in use. Some 652,000 people have crossed from Poland into Ukraine since the war began. Before the crisis, Poland was already home to around 1.5 million Ukrainians, chiefly migrant workers.
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