Health facilities in Ukraine ‘stressed to breaking point’, WHO warns – Global issues

The UN agency’s relief efforts continued, despite missile attacks on medical facilities, workers and patients in Ukrainian cities, which left 12 people dead and 34 injured. love.

Among the most needed supplies of life-saving equipment, the United Nations health agency sought supplies of oxygen and insulin, surgical supplies, anesthetics and blood transfusion kits to collect, examine safely test and transfuse blood.

“The supply chain has been severely disrupted. Many distributors are out of business, some stockpiles are inaccessible due to military operations, drug supplies are running low, and hospitals are having a hard time caring for the sick and injured,” he said. WHO statement is declared.

About 18 million people in Ukraine are believed to have been affected by the war, of which 6.7 million are internally displaced.

Meet Beate, a nurse assisting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland

Run away with what they can bring

A top priority in WHO’s relief efforts is providing support to neighboring countries’ health care systems, which have taken in around 2.8 million people in the past two weeks.

One of those countries is Moldova, which has seen more than 310,000 people enter its territory since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

Natalia Kanem, head of the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), visited facilities such as the Moldexpo International Exhibition Center and the Manej Sports Arena in the Moldovan capital Chișinău, both of which have been converted into refugee shelters.

“I’ve talked to women who have had to run away from their lives with only what they can bring,” said Dr. Kanem. said in an interview. “One of them, in tears, explained how she had to leave her three-year-old son behind. It has been a difficult journey for these women. The fear in their eyes is unforgettable.”

Volunteers from UNFPA-supported youth centers distributed around 6,000 menstrual kits and hygiene products and referred pregnant women to medical care units. as well as instructions on how to stay safe in transit. The agency is also working to distribute cash assistance, and set up safe spaces for women and girls as well as mobile clinics.

Dr Kanem said: “Humanitarian needs are increasing by the hour, and while the situation continues to unfold, it is clear that war will deepen vulnerabilities and inequalities in the region. area and beyond”. “We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that women affected by war, in Ukraine and neighboring countries, can give birth safely and live free of violence.”

Ukraine: “The impact on civilians is reaching terrifying levels” – UN Communications Director Stakeout

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‘Respect humanitarian law’, said UN chief as civilians flee besieged Mariupol

Speaking to the press on Monday, the UN Secretary General António Guterres calls for respect for international humanitarian law in Ukraine, amid reports that a convoy of about 160 civilian cars has managed to leave the city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian forces for more than two weeks. .

According to local officials, the convoy was evacuated under the guise of a “humanitarian corridor”, which would be the first successful ceasefire between the warring parties.

Conditions in Mariupol have deteriorated severely since the siege began. On Sunday, a statement released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) described scenes of extreme human suffering in the city, with basic needs such as food, water and Medicines were almost exhausted, people of all ages took shelter in unheated cellars, and corpses lay open where they fell.

Mr. Guterres said that the UN and its humanitarian partners were working to secure travel from besieged areas and deliver aid, where security allowed. Despite positive reports that some civilians were managing to leave Mariupol, Mr Guterres stressed that roads in and out of besieged cities were becoming more and more precarious, and called for respect for humanitarian law. international.

Shelling kills six-year-old Milana's mother.  She is currently recovering from surgery at a children's hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

© UNICEF / Oleksandr Ratushniak

Shelling kills six-year-old Milana’s mother. She is currently recovering from surgery at a children’s hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Millions of people raised for humanitarian aid

The Secretary-General also announced that the United Nations will allocate $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to “increase critical support to reach the most vulnerable” and added that the funding will “help bring supplies of food, water, medicine and other vital life-saving aid into the country, as well as providing cash assistance.”

This is the second allocation from the fund since the rapid increase in hostilities in Ukraine. A $20 million sum was announced on February 24, and a comprehensive scale-up humanitarian system to ease the pain of the Ukrainian people was put in place.

ONE Flash Call for Ukraine was launched on 1 March in Geneva. It needs $1.1 billion in immediate funding to support the 6 million most vulnerable people in Ukraine. As of Monday, donors reported $219 million in funding for the call.

Private sector donors have also contributed approximately $200 million to a separate appeal from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), to help families displaced by the war in Ukraine.

UNHCR has requested a donation of $510 million, to provide initial emergency assistance to internally displaced persons and to refugees across the region. As more people flee each day and urgent humanitarian assistance is increasingly needed, UNHCR’s funding requirements are also likely to increase.

Ongoing nuclear safety concerns

Power has been restored at the defunct Chernobyl nuclear reactor site, the United Nations atomic energy agency said, after power was lost after the area was occupied by Russian troops in December. February 24th. IAEAsaid on Sunday.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi explained that there are not any serious safety impacts, as Chernobyl’s spent fuel rods are being cooled by existing water tanks.

But Mr. Grossi said he remained “deeply concerned about safety and security at Chernobyl and other Ukrainian nuclear facilities”.

At the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March 4, the head of the IAEA said that Ukrainian technicians joined Russian representatives in violation of safety directives. .

Damaged Unit 4 reactor and shelter in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

© IAEA / Dana Sacchetti

Damaged Unit 4 reactor and shelter in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

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