Joyce Msuya, Sottosegretario generale ad interim per gli Affari umanitari e coordinatore degli aiuti di emergenza – Osservazioni al Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite sull’Ucraina, 9 luglio 2024

Di seguito le Osservazioni di Joyce Msuya, Sottosegretario generale ad interim per gli Affari umanitari e coordinatore degli aiuti di emergenza al Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite sull’Ucraina, 9 luglio 2024

New York, 9 July 2024


Mr. President,

Since I briefed the Council last month, there has been no respite for civilians in Ukraine amid continuing waves of attacks across the entire country.

I was particularly shocked by yesterday’s deadly missile strikes on Kyiv, Kryvi Rih, Pokrovsk and Dnipro, and other urban centres.

These attacks struck key energy infrastructure, as well as two of the country’s main specialist hospitals for children and women.

In Kyiv, the intensive care, surgical and oncology wards of Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital – Okhmatdyt – were severely damaged. Its toxicology department – where children receive dialysis – was completely destroyed.
First responders attending the scene immediately after the attack found children receiving treatment for cancer in hospital beds set up in parks and on the street, where medical workers had quickly established triage areas among the chaos, dust and debris.

Reportedly, 27 civilians, including four children, were killed and 117, including seven children, were injured.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) are verifying figures while rescue workers, hospital staff and volunteers continue to clear rubble in search for people trapped under debris.

Health officials report that what remains of the children’s hospital is without electricity, preventing the use of ventilators and other urgent care.

Our health partners have therefore helped to move child patients to other facilities and have been providing psychosocial support and assisting with other urgent needs.

UN Human Rights staff also witnessed a massive outpouring of solidarity from local residents, who rushed to the scene to help remove rubble and provide blankets, water and food for patients and medical staff.

I also regret that in Kyiv, at least nine civilians were killed at the ISIDA medical centre – one of Ukraine’s largest women’s health and family planning centres – when debris from an intercepted missile hit the facility.

Mr. President,

I echo the Secretary-General’s, UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s and others’ strong condemnations of these deplorable attacks.

My heart goes out to all those affected.

Let me remind this Council that hospitals have special protection under international humanitarian law.

Intentionally directing attacks against a protected hospital is a war crime, and perpetrators must be held to account.

Mr. President,

These incidents are part of a deeply concerning pattern of systematic attacks harming health care and other civilian infrastructure across Ukraine.

Attacks have intensified since the spring of 2024.

As of 30 June 2024, OHCHR has verified conflict-related violence in Ukraine has claimed the lives of 11,284 civilians and left 22,594 others injured – a total of 33,878 civilian casualties since February 2022. This does not include figures from yesterday’s attacks.
The World Health Organization has now verified 1,878 attacks affecting health-care facilities, personnel, transport, supplies and patients since February 2022.

Attacks have also significantly impacted homes, education facilities, office buildings, and public transport.

And they have disrupted electricity, gas, water supplies for millions of households. Energy production capacity across the country is significantly reduced.

The consequences for the humanitarian situation in Ukraine are, of course, severe.

More than 14.6 million people – about 40 per cent of Ukraine’s population – require some form of humanitarian assistance.

56 per cent of these people are women and girls.

Access to medical care for women and girls – including maternal and reproductive health care – is severely restricted.

Thousands of children continue to have daily lessons in bunkers, 20 feet below the ground.

And for everyone, the constant fear caused by this war is having a serious impact on mental health.

More than 10 million people urgently need support to cope with the stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges associated with the conflict.

Mr. President,

In this context, it is deeply troubling that aid operations are also being impacted by these attacks.

Just last week a strike destroyed an apartment block immediately in front of the United Nations offices in Dnipro City – Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, home to thousands of people fleeing hostilities and a base for a significant number of aid organizations.

The attack killed and injured civilians – including aid workers – and destroyed homes.

A second attack in Dnipro on the same day also damaged hospitals, schools and a collective site hosting more than 120 displaced people.

It bears repeating: Throughout all military operations, constant care must be taken to spare civilians and civilian objects from harm.

Mr. President,

As we have mentioned in previous Council briefings, humanitarian operations in some areas also lack access to people in need.

We remain deeply concerned about the 1.5 million people who we are unable to reach in parts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions occupied by the Russian Federation.

Like all others living close to the front line in Ukraine, they undoubtedly require urgent access to health care and medicine, food and clean drinking water.

In accordance with international humanitarian law, it is imperative that impartial humanitarian relief be facilitated for all civilians in need.

Mr. President,

Despite the challenges, in the first four months of 2024, the UN and its partners – many of them local organizations – still managed to provide lifesaving assistance to 4.4 million people across Ukraine.

We are grateful to the donors who have so far provided the $887 million in funding that has allowed us to do so.

But the reality is that six months into the year, this only amounts to 28 per cent of the $3.1 billion required.

To sustain operations in an increasingly complex and dangerous environment, we urgently need donors to accelerate funding for the humanitarian response.

All the more so as another winter approaches amid no sign of an easing of hostilities or their impact on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

To facilitate early procurement and prepositioning of winter supplies, the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching the winter preparedness plan for 2024/25, supported by an allocation of $55 million from the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.

But alone, this will not be enough to get Ukrainians through another winter of war. More is urgently needed.

Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

For more than two years now, people across all of Ukraine have shown remarkable fortitude and resilience in unbelievably challenging circumstances.

However, yesterday’s attacks and their impacts are a reminder of the deplorable human toll of this war, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society – tragedies we will see again and again as long as this conflict continues and the rules of war are defied.

I therefore once again call on this Council, and all Member States, to support all efforts to ensure respect for international law and bring an end to the suffering and destruction.

Thank you, Mr. President


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