TRT: 2 mins 39 s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 13 December 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
With temperatures continuing to plunge in Ukraine, nearly 10 million Ukrainians who live in the most affected areas by the war will probably spend winter without water, heat and electricity, and 18 million will need humanitarian aid, according to UN estimates.
“50% of people, you know, are directly affected by electricity", said Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine. "Everybody in the country is facing energy cuts at the moment, you know, but it’s 50% of direct infrastructure has been affected by these attacks within Ukraine.”
Speaking from the sidelines of an international donor conference currently hosted in Paris to help Ukraine to survive winter’s freezing temperatures and to rebuild after the war with Russia, Mr. Cilliers said that “the UN realizes that nearly 10 million Ukrainians who live in the most affected areas will probably go without water, heat and electricity in the coming winter.”
Mr. Cilliers added that “it is estimated that nearly 18 million people, or 40% of Ukraine’s population, will need some sort of humanitarian aid during these periods of time.”
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working together with the World Bank on a damage assessment report and the need of energy structure. UNDP is also bringing in voltage equipment for the restoration of the energy grip which will be crucial not only for the immediate needs but also on the long term.
Furthermore, so the UNDP Resident Representative, “we are working on mine action and rubble removal. It is a fact that nearly 6.7 million people have left the country. So there’s a lot of people outside that are looking to come in and back into the country, but they need to be safe, and they need to know that when they enter their communities and that they return to their communities that these areas are also cleared from mines and dangerous ordinances.”
At the end of October 2022, over 6.5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, while 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe, most of them women and children. “Our top priority is to deliver the winterization response and critical assistance to people, including housing protection and assistance programs for internally displaced people and other conflict-affected people as well,” noted UNHCR’s spokesperson, Shabia Mantoo.
With over 715 attacks on health care facilities and the difficulty to reach crucial help on time, the World Health Programme (WHO) stressed the enormous mental stress under which the population has been suffering. The lack of electricity is adding another health damage.
“When people are in this dire situation, with no electricity, no heating, they turn to alternative sources like diesel, like wood fuels in very crowded situations », said WHO’s spokesperson Margaret Harris. « And that creates toxic substances that will increase the harm to people’s lungs, especially children and old people. And as we know, we are also seeing a large rise in respiratory illness and other respiratory infections beyond COVID. So we’ve got respiratory syncytial virus causing a lot of bronchiolitis and bronchitis with also going to see flu surge. We’re also concerned about diphtheria and measles in large unvaccinated populations.”
Furthermore, large numbers of people affected with HIV in the Donetsk region were not able to receive their medication during the last months.
“We really need humanitarian corridors, we really need the opportunity, the chance to help those many, many people in need,” said Margaret Harris.