The United Nations continues to explore all options to reach civilians affected by Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine, deputy humanitarian affairs chief Joyce Msuya said in an update to the Security Council on Thursday.
“Our recent efforts to evacuate civilians in the east has shown us that there is good will and common ground for us to build on between the parties,” she told ambassadors.
Joint operations by the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) resulted in more than 600 people being evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant and other areas of Mariupol, as well as nearby towns.
This was “a truly monumental feat amid the shelling and destruction ongoing in the east”, she said, and “a glimmer of hope”.
Meanwhile, UN relief chief Martin Griffiths continues to explore ways to bring the parties together to discuss humanitarian issues, including safe passage for both civilians and aid convoys.
Mr. Griffiths was in Turkey this week for talks focused on the country’s support of UN efforts, towards providing more humanitarian relief.
“We must explore all options to reach more people where needs are the greatest,” said Ms. Msuya. “We remain firmly committed to leaving no stone unturned. To find measures – from local pauses to wider ceasefires – to save lives. The world expects this of us. The people of Ukraine deserve this.”
More aid needed
Despite the hope represented by the evacuations, intense fighting continues to cause immense suffering in Ukraine. The conflict has uprooted nearly 14 million people, eight million of whom are internally displaced, according to latest figures.
Ms. Msuya also spoke of the “unprecedented” humanitarian scale-up in the crisis. Some 227 partners, mostly national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have provided assistance to more than 5.4 million people, many in the east. Learn More/…
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