UNITED NATIONS: United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos called again on Monday for an end to the violence in Ukraine, as she continued her visit to areas of the country’s crisis-riven eastern regions to see for herself the impact of the continued fighting on millions of people.
Amos, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, has been in Ukraine since late last week. A statement issued earlier today by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Amos heads, noted that since March, around 200,000 people have fled their homes in search of safety within Ukraine and tens of thousands have fled to neighboring countries.
“Every day, people die, are wounded in the fighting or find themselves on the road, scared and uncertain about the future,” she said.
Visiting a center for internally displaced persons (DPs) in Krasnyi Lyman, Amos met women who had fled the fighting with their families. “I met families who had to leave all their possessions behind as their homes were reduced to rubble. They all said the same thing. The fighting must stop so we can feel safe again,” she added.
She also met local authorities in Sloviansk which, until recently, was gripped by fierce fighting. She commended the progress made in getting basic infrastructure repaired and the ongoing work preparing for winter. A key priority is to get all children in school by September 1.
Amos, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the organization wants to get more aid to people in affected areas but is hampered by continued insecurity. Despite the security challenges, she said that the UN is looking at ways in which to get into the more difficult parts of eastern Ukraine.
“As winter approaches, assistance must be scaled up. Many of those displaced are already vulnerable and the temporary shelters housing them will not withstand the cold temperatures. We need to provide people with support so that they can cope through the winter,” she said.