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Neighbors struggle with the influx of refugees; UN expresses ‘horror’ over Mariupol hospital attack

To date, more than 2.2 million people have fled Ukraine according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR; Most have found shelter in Poland and more than 200,000 have made it to Hungary.

Slovakia has taken in more than 150,000 people from its close neighbor since February 24, when Russian forces began shelling and shelling Ukrainian cities.

Guterres praises ‘generosity and solidarity’

In a phone call with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, UN Secretary General António Guterres said he appreciates the welcome that has extended there, to more than a million refugees from Ukraine.

The head of the United Nations “told the President that he would do everything he could to mobilize the entire UN system, in coordination with the UNHCR, to support Poland’s generosity,” said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

He said Mr Guterres was grateful for the “great generosity and solidarity of all the nations” that share a border with Ukraine.

As part of his overall reconciliation effort to try and end the fighting in Ukraine, the United Nations chief also spoke Wednesday afternoon with German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, and Josep Borrell, Representative. European Union foreign and security policy.

Latest estimates from United Nations aid agencies suggest there could have been 4 million refugees by the end of the war, about 10% of Ukraine’s population.

Horrible attack on maternity hospital

The development comes after news on Wednesday that a Russian attack on a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the troubled city of Mariupol left babies buried under piles of water. dilapidated, according to Ukrainian officials.

The bombing has not been independently verified, but Mr Dujarric said the UN was urgently investigating the “shocking” reports.

He reiterated the United Nations’ call for an immediate halt to attacks on medics, hospitals, paramedics and ambulances, reminding that “none of these, should never be. become a target”.

Any attack on healthcare, is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law.

In a tweet, Mr. Guterres described reports of the attack as “horrific”, noting that civilians are paying “the highest price, for a war that has nothing to do with them. This nonsense must stop.”

In statement, UNICEF Police chief, Catherine Russell, said she was “appalled by the reported attack… an attack that allegedly left young children and women to work, buried beneath the rubble of buildings. destroyed. We don’t know the number of casualties yet but fear the worst.”

Horrible number of children

“This attack, if confirmed, underscores the terrible damage this war is doing to the children and families of Ukraine,” she added. “In less than two weeks, at least 37 children were killed and 50 injured, while more than a million children had to leave Ukraine for neighboring countries.

“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools – are unconscionable and must be stopped immediately,” she added.

“UNICEF continues its call for an immediate ceasefire and urges all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect children from harm and to ensure that humanitarian agencies are can reach children in need safely and quickly.”

Multiple attacks

Briefing of journalists in Geneva, World Health Organization Director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus say that so far, WHO verified 18 attacks on medical facilities, paramedics and ambulances during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in which 10 people died and 16 were injured.

“These attacks deprive the entire healthcare community,” he said.

To date, WHO has provided 81 tons of supplies, and WHO is establishing a supply pipeline to health facilities across Ukraine, especially in the worst-affected areas, Tedros added.

A woman looks at her damaged house after shelling in Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine.

© UNICEF / Evgeniy Maloletka

A woman looks at her damaged house after shelling in Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine.

“Yesterday, we delivered 5 tons of medical supplies to Kyiv to support the surgical care of 150 trauma patients, and other supplies to manage a wide range of health conditions of 45,000 people in one sitting. month. More supplies will be delivered today and we have 400 cubic meters of supplies waiting to be shipped to Ukraine, from our logistics hub in Dubai. ”

The head of the UN health agency said some of the main health challenges besides surviving air strikes and bombings, were hypothermia and frostbite, respiratory diseases, lack of methods. treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and mental health problems.

WHO staff have been deployed to neighboring countries to provide mental health and psychosocial support.

“WHO continues to call on the Russian Federation to commit to a peaceful resolution of this crisis and to enable safe, unfettered access to humanitarian assistance to those in need,” said Tedros. help.

IOM helps national people return home

International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday it had helped nearly 100 so-called Third Country Citizens (TCN), trapped in Ukraine during the Russian attack, back home.

They included 77 Tunisians, forced to flee to Romania and Poland; 3 Lebanese citizens and 17 Ghanaian students. Seven other students will arrive in Ghana on Thursday.

The IOM says about 109,000 BC have fled Ukraine since the war began, as it works with States, embassies, border authorities and other partners, to help them return.

In addition to assistance with returns, IOM also provides pre-departure medical assistance, food, COVID-19 testing, Personal Protective Equipment and much-needed ground transportation to departure points.
The IOM is providing the TCNs – some of whom have faced discriminatory and xenophobic attacks during their travels – with help with their home governments and have created out a net Hotline in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Lithuania provide information to all those forced to leave Ukraine.

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