People stranded in Ukrainian towns need urgent humanitarian aid, warns IRC


The IRC is extremely concerned about the millions of residents of conflict-affected Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Sumy, who are now either displaced or living the horrors of urban conflict. These people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and face safety and security risks.

In the IRC’s experience, siege almost always results in massive civilian suffering, including attacks on civilians, critical infrastructure and denial of access – all violations of international humanitarian law. The IRC is doubly concerned given the violations of international law that have already taken place – such as the targeting of evacuation corridors and attacks on hospitals. In the absence of clear data on the number of people likely to be affected, the IRC is calling for immediate local ceasefires and humanitarian access to the worst affected areas.

Bob Kitchen, Vice President of Emergencies at IRC, said:

“We have already seen the humanitarian impact of not being able to reach people in besieged areas and we must not allow the same to happen again in Ukraine. During the Syrian crisis, in places such as Eastern Ghouta, Yarmuk, Karaya, Foah and other hard-to-reach places, as many as 3.4 million people lacked access to essential services and life-saving supplies. base due to continuing hostilities and denial of access. While more than 3 million refugees have already fled Ukraine, millions more remain inside the country and need urgent assistance.

“As in any conflict, civilians continue to bear the brunt both in Ukraine and those who have fled the country. The humanitarian impact of this conflict increases every day. 3 million people have fled Ukraine in the past 2 weeks, making it the fastest growing and largest displacement crisis of this century. Our teams on the ground in Poland are reporting people crossing the border and arriving severely traumatized and frozen. We are extremely concerned about the security risks for the many women and children who arrive alone or are displaced in Ukraine. As urban areas come under increasing siege, the IRC is doubly fearful of witnessing the same cruel tactics inflicted on people in Aleppo and Idlib across Ukraine.”

The IRC calls for an immediate end to the conflict so that humanitarian organizations can reach people in the areas most affected by the conflict with essential humanitarian aid. The targeting of humanitarian corridors must stop immediately – anyone seeking safety must be allowed to do so through safe and regular channels.

Through partners in Poland, IRC provides information services through an existing hotline, offering legal advice and psychological support, and will facilitate access to services (through social workers, interpreters and assistants cultural) to displaced persons. Through partners in Ukraine, IRC is also providing evacuation services and essential items to those who have been displaced based on individual needs. This may include blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes or cash assistance.

About IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore the health, safety, education, economic well-being and power of people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 40 countries and more than 20 American cities to help people survive, regain control of their future and strengthen their communities. . Learn more at and follow the IRC at Twitter & Facebook.


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