The ICRC is asking for more information about the aid convoy, which left Moscow for eastern Ukraine this morning.
According to the Russian authorities, 280 trucks is bound for the region and is due to arrive at an agreed point on the border with Ukraine tonight.
Laurent Corbaz, ICRC Head of Operations for Europe and Central Asia says the organisation still needed security guarantees and direct contact with all the parties. He added that the issue is not yet settled as the organisation needed to know precisely the size and contents of the convoy. He described the situation in eastern Ukraine as “dire”, with many cities without adequate access to medical supplies, water and electricity.
The ICRC is stepping up its activities for affected populations, prioritising assistance to the displaced and those resident in the city of Donbass as well as medical services to the wounded.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Filming date: 12 August 2014
Format: H264 Mov HD & SD
Production: Claire Doole
Camera: Shadow Pro
ICRC ref: AV207N
Copyright: ICRC access all
SOUNDBITE: (English) Laurent Corbaz, ICRC Head of Operations for Europe and Central Asia
“To our knowledge today the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine is rather bad. There has been on going fighting over the past weeks and we know that some cities such as Luhansk for example have been caught for any supply over the past month. We know that situation there is rather dire in terms of supply, medical supply, access to water, access to electricity, everything.”
“We of course have heard of this Russian initiative and we have realised that this was in agreement with the Russian authorities and the Ukrainian authorities that such a convoy should be a possibility, provided that ICRC could be on board. We said that we could be onboard but we needed to have some clarification first regarding the modalities, practical steps that have to be implemented prior to launch such an operation. That is where we stand right now.”
“Well to implement such an operation in a conflict like environment, we seriously need security guarantees for example and direct contact with all the parties. This is not settled yet. We need to know precisely what is inside the convoy. The size of this convoy and the various material that is going to be handed over.”
“Well from what we have heard from the Russian authorities this convoy is composed of 280 trucks so it is rather massive and it has left Moscow this morning and is supposed to be near an agreed point on the border tonight.”
“I hope to receive all the new information as soon as possible. We are in constant contact with both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities on this. They know what are our requirements. We are waiting for their feedback.”
“The situation is dire there. I am sure that such an assistance is really needed but of course we also thank all the other donors who have contributed to our appeal for Ukraine”.
More information about ICRC activities in response to crises in Ukraine: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/fact-figures/08-04-ukraine-activites-response-crises.htm