Thousands of Ukrainians seek safety in neighbouring Poland.© IOM/Muse Mohammed Thousands of Ukrainians seek safety in neighbouring Poland.

After  missile attack near the airport in Lviv in western Ukraine early on Friday, UN humanitarians warned that the situation across the country remains dire, as Russia’s military invasion continues.

“What happened in Lviv this morning, is nothing new, just as it was in other parts of the country, but it’s a strong reminder that this country is in war and the medical needs are increasing,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Ukraine.

Now in its fourth week, the war in Ukraine has seen 44 attacks on healthcare throughout the country, including on buildings and a warehouse, patients, staff and supply chains, resulting in 12 confirmed deaths, according to WHO data.

Push for access

Despite the dangers, the UN and its partners have continued to push for humanitarian access.

“On deliveries, we have up to 100 metric tonnes made available for Ukraine,” Dr Habicht said, speaking from Lviv, adding that “at least one-third” had been dispatched to healthcare facilities, including in the capital Kyiv.

Mariupol, Sumy, ‘extremely dire’

Underscoring the deadly danger to civilians unable to escape Russian bombardment, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) described the situation in cities such as Mariupol and Sumy as “extremely dire, with residents facing critical and potentially fatal shortages of food, water and medicine”.

That assessment followed the bombing of a theatre in Mariupol on Wednesday, targeted despite clearly visible lettering daubed on the ground outside the building, indicating that “Children” were sheltering inside.

In the country’s eastern regions, or oblasts, needs “are becoming even more urgent”, said UNHCR spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh. “More than 200,000 people are now without access to water across several localities in Donetsk oblast, while the constant shelling in Luhansk region has destroyed 80 per cent of some localities, leaving 97,800 families without power.”

In Odessa, UNHCR reported that the authorities have appealed for support for general food assistance to cover the needs of 450,000 people in the city, as well as medicine.

“As of 17 March, a permanent consultation point for protection, legal, and social matters is functioning at the Odessa railway station where 600 to 800 individuals transit daily on their way from Mykolaiv, to the western oblasts of Ukraine,” the agency reported.

More than 3.2 million refugees

According to UNHCR, more than 3.2 million people have now fled Ukraine, and millions more are internally displaced, some of the 13 million hardest-hit by the war.

Ukrainian refugees living in temporary accommodation in Krowica Sama.
© WHO/Agata Grzybowska/RATS Agency Ukrainian refugees living in temporary accommodation in Krowica Sama.

Those who have left Ukraine have found shelter in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Russia and to a much lesser extent, Belarus. Ninety per cent are women and children and 162,000 are third-country nationals.

“They don’t have a plan when they arrive,” said Mr. Saltmarsh. “So many of those in the first phase might have had friends, diaspora networks, contacts, a relative to whom they could go and stay with initially, and then make a plan from there. That’s been less the case recently.”

To counter the risk of exploitation of these vulnerable new arrivals, UNHCR and UNICEF have set up safe spaces known as “Blue Dots” in six countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Safe zones to repel traffickers

These facilities are “one-stop-shops, and safe spaces which provide a minimum set of protection services for children, families and others with specific needs, in support of

existing services and government efforts,” UNHCR explained.

Also providing help to victims of the conflict, UN migration agency IOM said that last year it identified and assisted over 1,000 victims of trafficking.

IOM spokesperson Paul Dillon added that a telephone hotline that the agency set up in the last nine days has so far received more than 10,000 phone calls, more than half of which were related to trafficking concerns.

IOM: Web of protection

“We’re working with our many partners on the ground to ensure that these protective messages and these efforts that are being made at the border to inform people are then structured in a coherent manner”, he said.

“Not just for the people who are coming across the borders, but for border guards and for volunteers working at these border points in reception centres and indeed for IOM staff on the ground.”


OCHA appeal for safe passage agreements

With a solid agreement on continued and safe humanitarian access still proving elusive, Jens Laerke from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) urged both sides to the armed conflict “to agree with each other a mechanism of the modalities, standard operating procedures into actually minute detail how such safe passages - either for movement of humanitarian supplies, or on the other hand, for evacuation of civilians - how that can be established”.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: UN reaches Sumy with aid supplies

In a statement issued later on Friday, UN Crisis Coordinator, Amin Awad  said the United Nations and partners had completed “the first convoy of urgent humanitarian aid to the city of Sumy in the northeast, one of the most war-affected areas of the country.

“We hope this is the first of many shipments delivered to the people trapped by fighting”, he added. 

The 130 metric tons of essential aid includes medical supplies, bottled water, ready-to-eat meals and canned food that will directly help some 35,000 people, the crisis coordinator continued.

Offloading a UN aid convoy in Sumy on 18 March 2022, Ukraine.
© United Nations in Ukraine Offloading a UN aid convoy in Sumy on 18 March 2022, Ukraine.

In addition to these items, the convoy brought equipment to repair water systems to help some 50,000 civilians in need. 

“We count on the continued cooperation of all parties as the United Nations and our humanitarian partners scale up our relief operation to respond to the grave humanitarian crisis caused by this war”, said Mr. Awad.

“We are here to help the most vulnerable civilians caught in the fighting, wherever they are in Ukraine. We need unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to do so.”

The crisis coordinator said that safe passage for the humanitarian convoy "followed successful dialogue with and notification sent to the Ministries of Defense of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation, which was coordinated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)."

Unprecedented challenges

The crisis coordinator and other senior officials briefed Member States via videolink on Friday, regarding the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and neighbouring countries where millions have fled as refugees. The meeting was chaired by UN relief chief, Martin Griffiths.

Speaking from Ukraine, Mr. Awad warned that the war has created unprecedented humanitarian challenges that continue to rise.

Humanitarian hubs

He said the UN along with humanitarian partners, were on the ground operating from 17 locations, grouped into 10 hubs.

However, Mr. Awad stressed that we need to do more, and further safe humanitarian access from the Russian military as the offensive continues, is essential. 

From Lviv, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, said the UN was working on a joint response to integrate long-term development needs with the immediate humanitarian response.

She noted that water and sanitation facilities have either been partially or totally destroyed in much of Ukraine, with dramatic and immediate impacts on civilian life for the long-term.                 



“今天早上在利沃夫发生的事情并不新鲜,就像在该国其他地区一样,但它强烈提醒我们,这个国家正处于战争之中,医疗需求正在增加,”该国代表亚诺·哈比希特博士说。世界卫生组织 ( WHO ) 在乌克兰。

根据世卫组织的数据,乌克兰战争已进入第四周,全国范围内发生了 44 起针对医疗保健的袭击,包括建筑物和仓库、患者、工作人员和供应链,导致 12 人确认死亡



“在交付时,我们为乌克兰提供了多达 100 公吨的货物,”Habicht 博士在利沃夫发表讲话时说,并补充说“至少三分之一”已被送往包括首都基辅在内的医疗机构。


联合国难民署 ( UNHCR )强调了无法逃脱俄罗斯轰炸的平民面临的致命危险,将马里乌波尔和苏米等城市的情况描述为“极其可怕,居民面临严重且可能致命的食物、水和药品短缺”。


难民署发言人马修·萨尔特马什说,在该国东部地区或州,需求“变得更加紧迫”。现在顿涅茨克州多个地区有超过 200,000 人用不上水,而卢甘斯克地区的持续炮击摧毁了一些地区的 80%,使 97,800 个家庭断电。”

在敖德萨,难民署报告称,当局已呼吁支持一般食品援助,以满足该市 450,000 人的需求以及药品的需求。

该机构报告说:“截至 3 月 17 日,保护、法律和社会事务的常设咨询点正在敖德萨火车站运作,每天有 600 至 800 人从 Mykolaiv 前往乌克兰西部各州。”

超过 320 万难民

联合国难民署称,目前已有超过 320 万人逃离乌克兰,另有数百万人在国内流离失所,其中 1300 万人受战争影响最为严重。

离开乌克兰的人在波兰、斯洛伐克、匈牙利、罗马尼亚、摩尔多瓦、俄罗斯以及在较小程度上的白俄罗斯找到了避难所。90% 是妇女和儿童,162,000 人是第三国国民。

他们到达时没有计划,”Saltmarsh 先生说。“在第一阶段,很多人可能有朋友、侨民网络、联系人、亲戚,他们最初可以去和住在一起,然后从那里制定计划。最近这种情况少了。”





联合国移民机构IOM还向冲突受害者提供帮助,并表示去年它确定并援助了 1,000 多名贩运受害者。

国际移民组织发言人保罗狄龙补充说,该机构在过去 9 天设立的电话热线迄今已接到 10,000 多个电话,其中一半以上与贩运问题有关。





联合国人道主义事务协调办公室 ( OCHA )的詹斯·拉尔克(Jens Laerke)就持续和安全的人道主义准入仍然难以达成一致,敦促武装冲突双方“相互商定一种模式机制,标准操作程序实际上非常详细地介绍了如何建立这样的安全通道——无论是用于运送人道主义物资,还是另一方面用于疏散平民——如何建立”。


在周五晚些时候发表的一份声明中, 联合国危机协调员阿明·阿瓦德  说,联合国和合作伙伴已经完成了“向该国受战争影响最严重的东北部城市之一苏梅市的第一批紧急人道主义援助车队” .

他补充说 : 我们希望这是运送给被战斗困住的人们的许多货物中的第一批”。

危机协调员继续说,这 130 公吨的基本援助物资包括医疗用品、瓶装水、即食食品和罐头食品,将直接帮助约 35,000 人。

除了这些物品,车队还带来了维修供水系统的设备,以帮助大约 50,000 名有需要的平民。 








他说,联合国与人道主义合作伙伴一起在 17 个地点开展实地工作,分为 10 个枢纽。


来自利沃夫的联合国驻乌克兰驻地和人道主义协调员奥斯纳特·卢布拉尼 ( Osnat Lubrani ) 表示,联合国正在努力采取联合应对措施,将长期发展需求与紧急人道主义应对措施结合起来。


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