UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani expresses concern about the operation of crossing points of the ‘contact line’

UN RC/HC requests to act in solidarity to ensure safety of vulnerable population in eastern Ukraine.

After three months of closure, three of the five official crossing points at the ‘contact line’ in eastern Ukraine have partially resumed operations. The gradual reopening will allow Ukrainians to reach essential services, care for family members, and reunite with their loved ones. Earlier this month, I called for a phased approach to the re-opening and safe operation of the entry/exit crossing points that is fully coordinated and clearly communicated to the population. Unfortunately, the operation of the crossing points has not gone as smoothly as hoped, and fast action is required to make the crossing of the ‘contact line’ safer and more predictable for those who seek to cross.

We are aware of dozens of people who became trapped at a crossing point in Donetska oblast, forced to spend nights in a tent in dire conditions between the checkpoints. Among these people were children, elderly, and other vulnerable persons who were desperate to cross the ‘contact line’ to meet their acute needs. While I am relieved that it appears an ad hoc solution for these people has been identified, I again urge all relevant actors to implement coordinated, realistic, and clearly communicated measures to ensure the safe crossing of the ‘contact line’. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, precautionary measures aligned with World Health Organization guidance need to be implemented at all operational crossing points.

The United Nations and humanitarian actors stand with the people of Ukraine who have been impacted by years of conflict in the east, the COVID-19 health crisis across the country, and also those who have been affected by the recent flooding in the west. Only by acting in solidarity can we ensure people’s safety and the protection of their basic rights.

Speech by
Osnat Lubrani
UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator
Osnat Lubrani
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Labor Organization
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Department of Safety and Security
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Office for Project Services
United Nations Volunteers
World Health Organization