Ukraine crisis: Protecting civilian lives and infrastructure is essential
In Ukraine humanitarian needs are growing and spreading rapidly as military operations also intensify.
The United Nations and our humanitarian partners are committed to scaling up support for people across Ukraine, particularly women, children, elderly people and those with disabilities, who desperately need relief, protection and shelter.
Before the recent escalation, humanitarian agencies were already reaching over 1.5 million of the most vulnerable people affected by conflict in the eastern regions, on both sides of the contact line. Protection of civilian lives and infrastructure is essential for their survival. We will now expand those programmes, and establish new operations wherever they are needed, across the country.
As a temporary measure we have relocated some of our essential staff outside Kyiv so that we can keep delivering assistance with the minimum of disruption, and, at the same time reduce risk to UN personnel. Some UN humanitarian staff remain in Kyiv. The United Nations has mobilized staff and supplies, both to help people fleeing across borders for safety, and to support those inside the country.
To ensure we can expand our humanitarian operations we must have safe and unimpeded access to all areas affected by conflict – and remind all parties of their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. As anywhere in the world, the work of UN teams and our humanitarian partners is always neutral, impartial and independent: we are here to help the most vulnerable civilians, whoever and wherever they are.
Statement by Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine. Statement was originally published by the United Nations in Ukraine. For more information about the United Nations' work during the crisis in Ukraine, please visit: Ukraine.UN.org.