First shipment of UNICEF humanitarian aid arrives in Ukraine as conflict escalates

The first batch of UNICEF humanitarian supplies has arrived in Lviv, western Ukraine, from UNICEF’s Global Supply and Logistics Hub in Copenhagen. It is part of a six-truck convoy containing an estimated 62 tonnes of supplies on its way to the war-ravaged country.

The supplies include personal protective equipment to protect health workers from COVID-19 as they respond to the critical health needs of children and families, as well as desperately needed medical supplies, including medicine, first aid kits, midwifery kits and surgical equipment, and early childhood and recreational kits.

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“The situation for children and families in Ukraine is increasingly desperate,” said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “These supplies will help provide much needed support to women, children and health care workers.”

Since the conflict escalated, families have been sheltering underground, cut off from basic services. Hospitals and maternity wards have moved their patient to basements. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people are without safe drinking water due to damage to water system infrastructure. The country is running low on critical medical supplies and has had to halt urgent efforts to curb a polio outbreak.

An additional batch of supplies including 17,000 blankets and warm winter clothing for children are also en route via Poland from UNICEF’s Turkey Country Office warehouse in Mersin.

“UNICEF is working around the clock, preparing to scale up operations as soon as access and security restrictions are eased and humanitarian assistance can be deployed to the hardest-hit areas,” said Sahin.

UNICEF is also scaling up its response to meet the urgent needs of children and families crossing into neighbouring countries. These efforts include setting up ‘Blue Dot’ safe spaces along transit routes for children and mothers to access services.

UNICEF Ukraine Crises Response for Children is appealing for a total of US$349 million that includes US$276 million for its programmes inside Ukraine and requires an additional US$73 million to assist children in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF renews its call for an immediate suspension of hostilities in Ukraine to allow humanitarian help to reach those in need. Such a pause would also allow families in the worst affected areas to venture out to get food and water, seek medical care, or leave their homes to find safety.

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