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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

UN Urges Global Action to End Ukrainian Crisis

Attack on Kharkiv City center | UNITED NATIONS
Attack on Kharkiv City center | UNITED NATIONS

In a solemn address to the Security Council in New York, UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Joyce Msuya highlighted the urgent need for international intervention to halt the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, now entering its third year.

Ms. Msuya grimly noted that civilian casualties have steadily risen since her last briefing to the Council just three weeks prior. The Kharkiv region, in particular, has borne the brunt of intensified attacks, with a devastating toll on its populace.

“Shopping centres, homes, educational establishments, shops, office buildings, parks and public transport have all been struck in recent weeks,” she said.

Throughout May, Ukraine witnessed its highest civilian casualties in nearly a year, with UN human rights monitors reporting at least 174 deaths and 690 injuries nationwide. Shockingly, more than half of these casualties occurred in Kharkiv, a city reeling from relentless assaults on its infrastructure.

Ms. Msuya underscored the dire plight of displaced persons, with over 18,000 individuals newly uprooted in the Kharkiv region alone. Humanitarian efforts, spearheaded by some 50 organizations, have provided essential aid to over 12,000 people at a transit center in Kharkiv city. However, many civilians trapped in frontline and border areas continue to suffer from severe shortages of food, medical care, and utilities, exacerbating the crisis.

Elderly residents, disproportionately affected by the conflict, face heightened vulnerability as they struggle to access aid or flee their homes. In northern Kharkiv, where fighting rages fiercest, more than half of those killed or injured are over 60 years old, underscoring the tragic toll on the elderly population.

The UN human rights office has documented over 11,000 civilian deaths and 21,000 injuries since the conflict's onset, though the actual figures are likely far higher. Ms. Msuya emphasized the continued targeting of critical infrastructure, citing the devastating Kakhova Dam disaster as a stark example of the far-reaching humanitarian consequences of such attacks.

Moreover, systematic assaults on Ukraine's energy infrastructure have plunged the country into an energy crisis, with over 60% of pre-war energy generation capacity now offline. The resultant disruption to transportation and port infrastructure poses a grave threat to global food security, with rising grain prices already signaling impending shortages.

As the humanitarian crisis deepens, Ms. Msuya stressed the imperative of securing full funding for the $3.1 billion humanitarian response plan for 2024.

With over 14.6 million Ukrainians—nearly 40% of the population—in need of assistance, timely aid is essential to alleviate their suffering.

In a poignant plea, Ms. Msuya urged an end to the violence ravaging Ukraine, warning that prolonged conflict would only exacerbate the human toll and hamper efforts to rebuild shattered communities. She welcomed the upcoming Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin as a pivotal opportunity to mobilize support for the country's recovery and reconstruction efforts.

In conclusion, Ms. Msuya implored the Security Council and all member states to redouble their efforts to uphold international law, pursue peace, and alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Only through concerted global action can the world hope to bring an end to the protracted crisis gripping Ukraine and pave the way for a lasting resolution to the conflict.

Source: UNITED NATIONS, June 7, 2024


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