28 March 2022

Note to Correspondents: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani

Today we were able to safely bring food rations, medical supplies and household items to Kharkiv for thousands of people, provided by the World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Thank to our national partner the Ukrainian Red Cross, these supplies will be delivered to the most vulnerable communities in hard-hit Kharkiv, as well as hard-to-reach areas like Izium, Balakliia and Chuhuiv.

We rely on the humanitarian notification system with Ukraine and the Russian Federation, facilitated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to ensure our safe access.

The UN and our partners have managed to reach over 890,000 vulnerable people with lifesaving aid since 24 February. However, this is not enough. We continue to scale up our relief operations so that we can reach the most vulnerable people in dire need. To do so we must be guaranteed safe passage by parties to the fighting: we cannot deliver aid when the shelling continues and roads are mined. Pauses in the fighting are needed to allow free, safe passage for people to leave in whichever direction they choose. We count on the continued cooperation of all parties to protect civilians and humanitarian supplies and personnel.

I continue to call for a ceasefire and an end to the war. That is the only guarantee of safety and to end to this needless suffering.