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03-03-2022 | Latest News , Europe & Central Asia

Ukraine: Despite fierce fighting raging, the ICRC responds to the most urgent needs in Mariupol

ENG

Teams of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Ukrainian Red Cross are responding to the needs of civilians who are bearing the brunt of the conflict. On March 2nd, the ICRC donated food, hygiene items and items for children to more than 4,000 people displaced from their homes and living in shelters in the city of Mariupol, a city in south-eastern Ukraine. As the death toll and injuries rise, the ICRC is looking to ramp up its humanitarian response.

“It’s me and my family: my daughter-in-law, my son, my daughter and my grandmother. We are now in the dormitory. We fled from the Artana area under bomb explosions. Shells fell directly on our heads, so we ran away in what we were wearing to the basement. We need everything now. We are wearing what kind people and the Red Cross gave us. Right now, we are in dire need of medicine and hygiene products,” said Nataylia, who is staying in a shelter for 100 people in the center of Mariupol.

The situation is incredibly tense, dangerous and distressing for people. We see that many people have no water, electricity, and minimal phone connectivity. People’s first concern is for their families, people are desperately trying to get in touch with their relatives, but internet connectivity is very bad. People are seeking safety in shelters, often for hours on end.

Our teams are seeing lots of street to street fighting, including near where ICRC personnel are working and living. Most, if not all stores are closed, meaning ordinary citizens have big difficulty buying items. The humanitarian needs are growing by the minute and ICRC teams are doing everything they can to mitigate the impact of the conflict on the civilian population.

“We have been here since the first day they started bombing. I have seven children, I am alone. We came here with nothing. We get help here. We need food, clothes, batteries and everything you need for everyday life. We will be grateful for any help you can offer us,” said Yulia, a mother of seven from a shelter in Mariupol.

Our teams on the ground already see the latest intensification triggering new displacement. We can see the emergency needs will be significant and comprehensive, including medical needs, water, food, shelter and necessities for people. Today’s distribution of aid to civilians in Mariupol represents only a drop in the ocean of what is needed.

Note to editors:

  1. The ICRC has been working for the people affected by the conflict in Ukraine since 2014. Our operations in the country are among the ten largest ICRC operations worldwide with a team of over 600 staff members. Working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, we are increasing our response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine. Our support to people includes emergency assistance such as food, water, and other essential items. We also support hospitals and primary healthcare facilities with medical equipment and emergency preparedness. We repair water stations and support households to rehabilitate their damaged homes. We also help families separated by the conflict reconnect.

  1. Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. A neutral, independent and impartial organization, its mandate stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and works in more than 100 countries. 

For more information:

Jason Straziuso, ICRC Geneva, jstraziuso@icrc.org, Tel.: +41 79 949 35 12

Crystal Wells, ICRC Geneva, cwells@icrc.org, Tel.: +41 79 642 80 56

SHOTLIST

Location: Mariupol, Ukraine

Length: 04:34

Format: H264 HD

Cameraperson: Yevgen Nosenko

ICRC ref: 20220302-MariupolAidDistribution-AVN

Filming date: 02.03.22

Copyright: ICRC access all

00:00   Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers in Mariupol preparing food, hygiene items and items for children to be delivered to shelters in Mariupol.

00:23   ICRC and Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers at the ICRC sub-delegation of Mariupol, preparing food, hygiene items and items for children to be delivered to shelters in Mariupol.

01:20   ICRC vehicles driving to shelter in the centre of Mariupol.

01:43   Unloading aid at shelter in the centre of Mariupol.

02:05   Soundbite (in Russian) from Nataylia who is staying in this shelter for 100 people in the centre of Mariupol:

"It’s me and my family: my daughter-in-law, son, daughter (13 years old), grandmother - we are now in the dormitory. We fled from the Artana area under bomb explosions. Shells fell directly on our heads, so we ran away in what we were wearing to the basement. We need everything now. We are wearing what the kind people and the Red Cross gave us. Right now we are in dire need of medicine and hygiene products."

02:36   ICRC vehicles taking aid to another shelter in the industrial zone of Mariupol.

03:26   PART ONE: Soundbite (in Russian) from Yulia, mother of seven, with her baby talking from a shelter in Mariupol:

“We have been here since the first day they started bombing. I have seven children, I am alone.

We came here with nothing. We get help here. We need food, clothes.... batteries and everything you need for everyday life.  We will be grateful for any help you can offer us.”

03:52   PART TWO: Soundbite Yulia:

It's hard, very hard. Because there are a lot of people, a lot of children especially.

We eat twice a day. But, of course, you can't explain that to the kids. They need fruit, some tasty snacks. Children need to be fed, and adults - of course, we somehow manage.

"Pampers, formula"? Yes, we need that. We have a woman in labor and a lot of small children, they really need it. Food, infant milk formula, diapers, personal hygiene items - all this is very necessary. We don’t have enough soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste. We don't have this at all.

04:34   ENDS

 

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