GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP)— More than 6.2 million people are now estimated to be displaced within Ukraine due to Russia's invasion, having fled their homes but stayed inside the country, the UN said Tuesday.
This is in addition to the 5.26 million people who have fled Ukraine and been registered as refugees in other European countries since the war began.
As of June 23, there were an estimated 6.275 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine, the United Nations's International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
That marks the lowest number of IDPs recorded by the IOM since the Russian invasion on February 24.
The UN agency, which has carried out six surveys since February, said the IDP number peaked at an estimated eight million in the fourth survey published on May 3.
The latest survey found that 5.55 million people who initially fled -- whether within Ukraine or abroad -- had now returned to their homes.
"The most pressing needs of both displaced and non-displaced persons include access to health services and education, as well as (the) rehabilitation of damaged homes," the IOM said.
Sixty-five per cent of current IDPs are estimated to be women.
Some 61 per cent of all IDPs (3.8 million) are from the east of Ukraine, where the fighting is currently concentrated. Fifteen per cent are from the north, while 11 per cent each coming from Kyiv and from the south.
The biggest displacement flows are of people from the east moving to other places in the east, and to a lesser extent to central and western Ukraine.
- Perception of safety -
Some 44 per cent of IDPs are living in rented dwellings, while 29 per cent are staying with family or friends.
Thirteen per cent said they felt completely safe where they were, while 63 per cent said they felt somewhat safe.
"Among IDPs, 15 per cent indicated that they plan to return to their places of habitual residence within the upcoming two weeks," the survey said.
The survey found that almost one in four people in Ukraine had to stop using their medication during the war because it was either unavailable or too expensive.
It also determined that 20 per cent of displaced households included children aged one to four, 51 per cent included elderly members and 36 per cent had people with chronic illnesses.
Only 12 per cent of returnees are considering leaving their homes again, it said.
The IOM conducted its sixth survey between June 17 and 23, interviewing by telephone 2,000 anonymous respondents aged over 18 and chosen at random.