UN aid chief joins probe call after ‘terrifying’ visit to Bucha – Global Affairs

Martin Griffiths was in Bucha and Irpin, both located outside the capital Kyiv, with the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Olha Stefanishyna.

Mass graves and destruction

The head of relief described the visit as “appalling”, speak United Nations Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, speaking during the daily briefing in New York.

“He saw a mass grave with bodies wrapped in plastic, dozens of apartment blocks and houses destroyed, and burned cars on the street,” he said. Mr. Dujarric said.

Recalling that the world was deeply shocked by the images emerging from this area, Mr. Griffiths said the call of the Secretary-General of the United Nations because the an immediate, independent investigation to ensure accountability.

Need a humanitarian pause

From Bucha, Mr. Griffiths traveled to Kyiv, where he met Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and other senior officials, including the Defense Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister.

He listens to their views and concerns, and also looks for ideas to make progress in establishing a humanitarian pause, along with safe passage for aid delivery and evacuation. .

Before visiting Ukraine, Mr. Griffiths was in Moscow, where he also discussed these topics with Government officials on Monday.

The head of humanitarian affairs reaffirmed the UN’s core commitment to helping protect civilians and reaching all those in need as quickly as possible.

“He also said that, after the temporary relocation, The UN will re-establish its humanitarian presence and leadership role in Kyiv, which the Ukrainian authorities have warmly welcomed,” added Mr. Dujarric.

Scaling support

United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations have Significant expansion of operations in Ukraine in the past six weeks. About 160 partners are present in all 24 regions of the country, known as oblasts.

Humanitarians have reached at least two million people with assistance, and convoys have reached thousands in some of the worst-affected areas, including Sumy, Kharkiv and Sievieredonetsk.

In addition, the $1.1 billion appeal to support the people of Ukraine, launched last month, is now nearly 60% funded.

Peace is the cure: WHO

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized its commitment to assist the country in addressing immediate challenges and future reconstruction needs.

“The life-saving medicine Ukraine needs right now is peace,”speak Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, speaks during a press conference from the western city of Lviv on Thursday – World Health Day.

Health is attacked

WHO reported a major milestone on Thursday, verified more than 100 attacks against healthcare since the war began, killing 73 people and injuring 51 others.

Of the 103 attacks to date, nearly 90 have affected medical facilities, while 13 have affected transportation, including ambulances.

As a result of the conflict, half of the pharmacies in Ukraine are also said to be closed, while around 1,000 medical facilities are located near conflict zones or in changed control areas.


Dr. Kluge expressed solidarity with Ukraine, and the medical staff of Ukraine, who continue to provide care in the face of immense suffering.

“I, along with our Director-General, who, on behalf of WHO, have repeatedly called on the Russian Federation for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, including unfettered access to humanitarian assistance to those in need. help,” he said.

WHO’s work in Ukraine focuses on three principles, starting with the maintenance of health facilities.

More support on the way

Teams assigned more than 185 tons of medical supplies to the hardest hit areasincluding Sumy under siege, reaching half a million people with materials supporting trauma, surgery, and primary health care.

Another 125 tons are on the wayand items such as wheelchairs, communication aids for the blind and other assistive products, are in transit.

WHO is also working with neighboring countries and across the entire European region, to ensure millions of people fleeing fighting can also be cared for and health systems can manage the flow of people. this.

Conflict must end

Before the war, Ukraine had made “great progress” in the face of challenges such as tuberculosis and HIV and towards universal health coverage.

Dr. Kluge emphasizes the importance of not losing this momentum.

WHO is preparing to redeploy teams across the country as accessibility and security improve, he said, underscoring its commitment to being present in current humanitarian response operations and in post-reconstruction. conflict.

“Health requires peace, happiness requires hope, and healing takes time,” Dr., Kluge, added “My deepest wish is that this war will end quickly, without further loss of life. Tragically, this is not the reality we see.”

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