The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in late January that that he was worried that the war in Ukraine has been forgotten, as the country prepares to mark two years since the start of Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi also said that it was important to remind the international community that Ukrainians were living through a devastating war, despite other global crises taking the spotlight.

Speaking after his January visit to Ukraine, Grandi said that the invasion – which was launched by Moscow without provocation on February 24, 2022, continued to bring devastation to civilians with houses destroyed, health centers targeted, and many facilities not functioning.

“I think the big difference from last year to this year is that this year, this is not news anymore in the world,” Grandi said. “There is somehow a trend towards getting used to Ukrainian suffering.”

UNHCR put the figure of people who have been displaced from the war at 10 million. Close to 3.7 million are considered to be internally displaced, while another 6.3 million are categorized as refugees.

The agency has called for $4.2 billion to help Ukraine this year, slightly less than last year.

“We made that choice because we are aware that there are so many crises in the world that that’s a factor and therefore we really focused on the priority needs,” Grandi said.

The U.N. refugee chief said that he was concerned that discussion over the issue of humanitarian aid to Ukraine had now become held up by political wrangling. He urged the United States and the European Union to pass their aid packages, saying it was his duty to “remind everybody that humanitarian aid should not be hostage of politics.”

In December, EU leaders failed to agree on a four-year, $52 billion package of assistance for Ukraine. Hungary blocked the agreement, which requires unanimity from all 27 EU members. The bloc is working, however, to find a way for the remaining 26 countries to come up with the funding.

In Washington, senators tried to pass a bipartisan deal that would include nearly $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, in exchange for making changes to U.S. border policy. But MAGA Republicans blocked all assistance for Ukraine in a political show of loyalty to Trump, and his benefactor – the Russian dictator Putin.

“I very much hope that those discussions can be unblocked and be concluded positively in both places — in the EU and in the United States,” Grandi said. “If those packages are stuck, I’m very worried that that humanitarian assistance will not come. That will have an immediate impact here.”

Susie Blann and MI Staff

Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine

Dmytro Larin, Marko Subotin, Lina Reshetnyk, Nick Tsyb, Pavlovska Yevheniia, Halinskyi Max, and Drop Of Light (via Shutterstock)