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What was supposed to be the day of the partial truce with the opening of humanitarian corridors to allow the civilians of Mariupol and Volnovakha to leave the cities in reality remains yet another day of war and fighting: the truce is not assured and attacks continue.
The five-hour truce (from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. GMT, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Italy) announced to open humanitarian corridors and allow the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha, two towns under siege and subjected to intense bombardment, has never actually started. The first sign of détente expected today in Ukraine is hardly becoming reality.
Massacre in Kharkiv: more than 100 children killed
While the total number of victims continues to rise, yesterday alone more than 2,000 people died in Kharkiv. Over 100 of them were children. This is in addition to the number reported by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which on the same day reported 1,006 civilian casualties, including 331 killed, a figure that will be higher in the coming hours as civilian deaths and injuries continue to be verified.
Escalation of violence on the most vulnerable people
Amid escalating violence, internal and cross-border displacement continues unabated in parts of Ukraine, driving a corresponding growth in humanitarian needs that has already reached crisis levels after little more than a week.
While the scale and scope of displacement is not yet clear, it is estimated that more than 10 million people could potentially flee their homes amid the current crisis. 4 million of them could cross international borders, a figure that has already exceeded 1 million since 24 February.
As displacement increases, the most vulnerable groups – including women and children, people living with disabilities, third-country migrants and older people – will face higher protection risks, such as abuse and neglect, as well as sexual and gender-based violence.
In the L’viv region of western Ukraine alone, there are currently 44,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Our efforts intensify
Cesvi – together with People in Need, Concern Worldwide and other Alliance2015 partners – has been on the ground for more than a week now. We receive constant updates from our colleagues reporting a dramatic situation that is getting worse by the hour. The people are exhausted by cold and hunger. They are terrified by what is happening, and in addition to material needs there is a need for psychological support to deal with the trauma.
Keep standing by us, we need you: donate now for the emergency in Ukraine.
© Photo credits: Kieran McConville /Concern Worldwide