Ukraine: Protecting Civilians is UN Top Priority

The United Nations will step up its humanitarian operations in and around Ukraine and is making the protection of civilians its priority.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday announced the immediate allocation of $20 million to meet urgent needs.The UN is calling for urgent funding for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan which asked for US$190 million to meet the needs of 1.8 million vulnerable people.

Neutrality, impartiality, humanity, independence

“We and our humanitarian partners are committed to staying and delivering aid, to support people in Ukraine in need. UN staff are working on both sides of the line of contact, always guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity, and independence,” said Guterres.

“The protection of civilians must be the number one priority. International humanitarian law and human rights must be respected,” he added.

The United Nations World FoodProgramme (WFP) has announced that it is ready to deploy to help the affected population. The WFP is the first responder in humanitarian emergencies and has the capacity to intervene within 72 hours of the onset of a crisis, provided access is granted and resources are available.

“As the situation evolves, there is a need to ensure that affected communities have continued access to any humanitarian support they may require and that the safety of humanitarian staff on the ground is guaranteed,”said WFP Director of Emergencies Margot van der Velden.

Keep borders open to refugees

The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, is working with the governments of neighbouring countries, calling on them to keep borders open to people seeking safety and protection.

Terrified families have been forced to seek shelter underground, the UN said on Friday, adding that at least 100,000 people have likely been displaced by the violence.

“We’re seeing these reports and we’ve seen for instance yesterday that there were about 5,000 refugee arrivals in Moldova already, but the other movements are being reported in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Russian Federation”, said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo.

UNICEF is calling on all parties to refrain from attacking civilian infrastructure on which children depend – including water and sanitation systems, health facilities and schools.Ukraine

UNICEF is working across eastern Ukraine to scale up life-saving programs for children. This includes trucking clean water to conflict-affected areas, pre-positioning emergency health, hygiene and education supplies and providing psychosocial care.

More information: Ukraine Backgrounder


Latest news