Mr.Martin Griffiths, USG/ERC, and Ms.Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF, briefed the UN Security Council on Ukraine

Published Date

Today, Mr. Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and Ms. Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF briefed United Nations Security Council on how the UN and partners are responding to rising needs in Ukraine.

The following quotes are extracts from Mr. Martin Griffiths' Statement as delivered:

"As the unthinkable became the reality, the UN and its humanitarian partners started a scalable and agile, adaptable and resilient humanitarian operation fit for the changing situation.:

"I salute the more than 4,000 Ukraine Red Cross volunteers across the country … the community workers of local NGOs, the truck drivers carrying basic necessities into volatile areas. These are people all in harm’s way, who have no hesitation in carrying out their mission."

"Three things are critical in the short term:

  • civilians, whether they stay or leave, must be respected and protected.
  • safe passage for humanitarian supplies
  • a system of constant communication with parties to the conflict."

"I am deeply worried about the consequences on vulnerable people living half a world away Food prices are spiking, supplies are uncertain. We didn’t need that either. People in the Sahel, in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Madagascar already face profound food insecurity."

"I welcome and praise the extraordinary generosity of donors to the launch of the Regional Plan and the Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan. We hope that this will not divert those donors from other pressing humanitarian crises. This may be the latest one, but it's not the only one."

The following quotes are extracts from Ms. Catherine Russel's' Statement as delivered.

"With the escalation of the conflict, the immediate and very real threat to Ukraine’s 7.5 million children has grown. Homes, schools, orphanages, and hospitals have all come under attack. Civilian infrastructure like water and sanitation facilities have been hit, leaving millions without access to safe water.   

"They told me how it felt to leave everything you know behind.  To leave husbands, fathers, and elderly loved ones, not knowing when or whether they would see each other again.  

The children talked about being suddenly pulled out of school, losing beloved toys, and the terrifying sound of shelling and gunfire.   So many children have been deeply traumatized."

"UNICEF and UNHCR have urged all hosting countries to take measures to identify and register unaccompanied and separated children fleeing Ukraine, after allowing them access to their territory."

"Children in Ukraine need help and protection.

They need supplies and other critical support.

They need access to basic social services like health and education.

They need hope for the future.

But above all children in Ukraine need peace. It is the only sustainable solution."