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15-03-2022 | Latest News , Europe & Central Asia

Ukraine: ICRC & URCS help facilitate evacuation of civilians from Sumy

ENG

Today the ICRC with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society is helping to facilitate the safe passage of thousands civilians out of the city of Sumy in an ongoing operation. The joint operation consists of two convoys with at least 80 buses traveling out of Sumy and destined for Lubny.

Erik Tollefsen, an ICRC staff member present on the ground during the operation, said: "The dimension of this humanitarian catastrophe is just incomprehensible. We have civilians in the hundreds who are trying to get on the buses and we (ICRC) will try and escort this convoy across the lines and bring them back into some kind of safety.”

The convoy left Sumy at approximately 3.30 pm CET. The ICRC hopes that this is the first of many operations and safe passages for civilians that need urgent respite from violence and humanitarian aid.

An agreement between the parties to the conflict at a local level allowed today’s operation to take place; the ICRC reiterates that we are not a guarantor of such agreements, though we do assist in their implementation. It is up to the parties to agree to the terms of any safe passage agreement and then stick to the terms.

People in a number of cities like Mariupol essentially remain trapped with little safe way out. People are living with no food, water, heat or electricity. They, like in other cities affected by the hostilities, desperately need to be allowed safe passage out of cities, if they choose to leave, and humanitarian assistance needs to be allowed in.

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

Chris Hanger, ICRC Geneva, changer@icrc.org, Tel: +41 77 260 26 79

Loglist 

ICRC Ref: 20220315-Ukraine-Sumy-AVN

Location: Sumy, Ukraine

Camera: ICRC

Date: 15.03.22

Duration: 00:56

00:00    Residents of the city of Sumy gather next to buses to be used in a humanitarian corridor, led by the ICRC and Ukrainian Red Cross.

00:19    Soundbite Erik Tollefsen an ICRC staff member

“The dimension of this humanitarian catastrophe is just incomprehensible. We have civilians in the hundreds who are trying to get on the busses and we (ICRC) will try and escort this convoy across the lines and bring them back into some kind of safety.”

00:43    Buses to be used for the humanitarian corridor.

00:56    An ICRC vehicle leads the convoy from Sumy.

01:17   ENDS

 

Duration : 1m 18s
Size : 117.2 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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