Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said that Russian forces in Ukraine must respect international humanitarian law, protect civilians, and refrain from damaging and destroying civilian infrastructure.
“Access has been in many places, intermittent at best or non-existent,” Linaric said in a statement to reporters Thursday, and Russia is “not providing unimpeded access to humanitarian supplies and humanitarian workers to those in need.”
He said that relief agencies providing aid from the European Union are facing “difficulties in reaching some of the besieged cities”, adding that they are facing “difficulties in reaching the besieged population in areas of active conflict”.
He blamed Russian forces for this, saying that they were “not fulfilling their international legal obligations”.
The commissioner, speaking at the European Union’s Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC) in Brussels, where the European Union coordinates the collection and delivery of humanitarian aid from all 27 EU countries, was the “largest civil protection operation ever” since the establishment of the response mechanism disasters in the European Union in 2001.
This aggression has caused a humanitarian catastrophe of proportions not seen since World War II. The needs of the people of Ukraine are enormous.”
He added that the 24-hour-a-day center is currently coordinating “food, medicines, medical equipment, ambulances, mobile hospitals, firefighting equipment, fire trucks, fuel” for delivery to Ukraine.
The commissioner said he expected the number of refugees to continue to increase if the invasion continued.
We now have one million refugees a week. So if this goes on for another 10 weeks, yes, we can come up with the 15 million figure.
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