UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine calls for urgent common action to counter COVID-19 in Ukraine

The people of Ukraine, together with millions across the world, are confronted with a global crisis that is menacing all of humanity: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop, the increase in civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, which have reached their highest level since September 2019, is deeply concerning.

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.

As 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 UN and humanitarian partners are undertaking mitigation measures to ensure the protection of the people they assist during the delivery of humanitarian assistance. All relevant actors are requested 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.

We call on our generous donors to join together to support the recently launched Ukraine Emergency Response Plan for 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.

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.

Speech by
Author
Osnat Lubrani
UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator
UN
Osnat Lubrani
UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
ILO
International Labor Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OCHA
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNV
United Nations Volunteers
WHO
World Health Organization