17:52 07.04.2020

UN Mission in Ukraine calls on conflict parties to cease fire in Donbas, focus on stopping COVID-19 spread

3 min read
UN Mission in Ukraine calls on conflict parties to cease fire in Donbas, focus on stopping COVID-19 spread

All parties to the conflict in Donbas should heed the UN Secretary General's call for a global ceasefire and focus all efforts on preventing the spread of the virus, said UN humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani.

"I urge all concerned to heed UN Secretary-General António Guterres's call for a global ceasefire and put aside differences to focus on stopping the spread of the virus. This is a time for solidarity. Urgent, collective action is needed now to address the pandemic and to assist those most vulnerable," Lubrani's statement reads posted on the website of the UN Mission in Ukraine on Tuesday.

She stressed that against the backdrop of a global crisis, the increase in civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, which have reached their highest level since September 2019, is deeply concerning.

The statement says that the UN works with all relevant agencies to continue to deliver humanitarian assistance, we fully respect the necessity of measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The mission asked all relevant actors to support and facilitate the work of the UN and humanitarian partners to continue to have access to provide essential, life-saving health and humanitarian assistance on both sides of the "contact line" in eastern Ukraine.

"It is essential that enabling procedures are in place so that critical supplies can be fast-tracked and reach those who depend on our assistance to survive, now more than ever," the statement reads.

In addition, the UN Office requested donors to join forces and support the recently introduced UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan to overcome the coronavirus infection COVID-19.

"As national budgets are stretched, we are repurposing some of our resources – but these will not suffice. We will require additional donor commitment to respond to the health and socioeconomic impact of COVID-19," it says.

The statement also stresses that in this challenging time, the United Nations and humanitarian partners stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine who have been affected by conflict as well as the health and socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.

"We are currently scaling up our efforts to help mitigate and respond to the surge in need throughout the country that is arising due to this pandemic," the Mission said.

As reported, the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan aimed at providing assistance in counteracting COVID-19 in Ukraine, presented earlier by the UN Office in Ukraine, provides that overcoming the consequences of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Ukraine will cost $165 million.

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