Foreign

February 27, 2022

UN to launch appeal to fund humanitarian operations in Ukraine

Owo church attack

United Nation’s Secretary- General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary General António Guterres has announced that the UN will launch an appeal to fund its humanitarian operations in Ukraine amid reports on Saturday of casualties and people fleeing their homes to seek safety as Russian military operations in the country intensify.

A statement issued by the UN Spokesperson, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, stated that Guterres had spoken on the phone earlier in the afternoon with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“The secretary general conveyed to the president the determination of the UN to enhance humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine, according to the readout.

It added that the UN chief had informed the president that the UN would launch on Tuesday an appeal to fund our humanitarian operations in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Uncertainty over fate of Nigerians/ students trapped in Ukraine as Russia vetoes UN on sanctions

The secretary general’s phone call and the announcement of a humanitarian appeal follow his decision on Thursday to release 20 million dollars from the UN emergency relief fund, known as CERF, to meet urgent needs in Ukraine.

“We and our humanitarian partners are committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need,” he said.

The UN chief struck a similar tone of determination speaking to reporters on Friday evening after the Russian Federation vetoed a resolution tabled in the Security Council that would have denounced its attacks in Ukraine and called for the withdrawal of all Russian troops.

“In a moment like this, it is important to remember that the UN is not just the chamber behind me.

“It is tens of thousands of women and men around the world… standing, delivering, extending a lifeline of hope,” the secretary general said.

He stressed that “despite the growing operational challenges, the UN is scaling up the delivery of life-saving support.”

The secretary general also announced the appointment of Amin Awad as UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine to lead the coordination of all UN efforts, including its humanitarian response, on both sides of the contact line.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, expressed grave concern about the fast-deteriorating situation and ongoing military action in Ukraine.

“We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety.

“Civilian lives and civilian infrastructure must be protected and safeguarded at all times, in line with international humanitarian law,” Grandi said in a statement.

He warned that the humanitarian consequences on civilian populations would be devastating.

Accordingly, he said that UNHCR had stepped up its operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

“We remain firmly committed to support all affected populations in Ukraine and countries in the region,” he added. (NAN)