Due to the blockade 226,000 elderly people and 13,000 children are left without Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center's assistance in June
Escalation of conflict in Donbas and closed checkpoints in Kurakhove led to the fact that in June Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center could deliver only half of the planned volume of food aid to non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The problem of delivery still remains relevant, the Humanitarian Center sees its solution in establishment of Mariupol terminal for inspection and legalization of humanitarian loads. This was announced today, on the 1st of July, in "Ukrainian News" information agency by Rimma Fil, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Center.
In June Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center faced great difficulties with humanitarian aid delivery. This is due to intensified military actions and closed checkpoints. "A few days ago our escort car came under the shelling together with the Red Cross trucks. Before that the convoy, consisting of 26 trucks, was wandering like pilgrims from one checkpoint to another for two weeks. During all this time the drivers practically lived in the cars, risking their lives, ‒ Rimma Fil shared the problem. – And since the trucks couldn't cross the contact line on time, the terms of delivery and issuance of humanitarian aid in non-government-controlled areas of Donbas were violated".
Humanitarian Center was planning to send 289 trucks with 5,875 tons of humanitarian food aid to ATO area to form 450,000 survival kits for adults and 22,000 packages for children. However, only half of the planned volumes were delivered to the logistic centre at Donbas Arena, and it happened only because the tactics was changed. In the end of the month delivery was made every day in small batches. As a result, 145 trucks were sent to ATO area and delivered 2,900 tons of food products. They can be used to form 225,000 food packages for adults and 22,000 kits for children.
"We fully emptied the Humanitarian Center's warehouses at Donbas Arena. Owing to these residues were managed to issue 117,000 survival kits, 5,500 of them were sent to small towns of Donetsk region thanks to the work of mobile points for humanitarian aid issuance, – Rimma Fil says. – We are trying to reach everyone, arrive to the most remote villages, so that all people in need feel this help and support. But due to delivery problems and a great number of closed issuing points, we couldn't provide food to 226,000 retired and disabled people, and also more than 13,000 children under two years old. So these are the consequences of June problems".
At the same time, 50,000 survival kits for adults and 6,000 children packages were delivered from Mariupol warehouse across government-controlled areas of Donbas and towns on the contact line. All people received their humanitarian aid on time.
According to Rimma Fil, delivery problem remains relevant. "This is stated not only by Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, but also Red Cross Society and the United Nations. Today there is a long line of trucks, belonging to international charitable organizations, staying at the checkpoints, as the only checkpoint allowing the passage of humanitarian aid, is Volnovakha. But the checkpoint in Volnovakha is not physically able to allow such volumes, which is why we have to apportion delivery days between humanitarian organizations in order not to stand idle for days,"- Rimma Fil said at the briefing.
The situation is extremely difficult. Yesterday the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that 6,500 people were killed in the war in eastern Ukraine, 16,000 people are wounded. According to this organization, 5 million people require humanitarian aid, but "the access to non-government-controlled areas remains a serious problem, which constrains the humanitarian aid delivery".
"That is why we would like to draw everyone's attention to the fact that humanitarian aid, which is being delivered by international organizations and Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is really necessary for those people, who are living in the area of military operations. This help is provided to people, who are not paid their social payments and who won't be able to survive without these food packages", – the Coordinator of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center emphasizes.
In this situation the Humanitarian Center suggests the following solution to the problem. "The only way is to separate humanitarian convoys from civilians' cars. We suggest creating a special inspection terminal in Mariupol, based on Azovsky market, where they have customs warehouses, to check all the humanitarian loads there. This will allow all the humanitarian organizations to legalize their loads and documents on time, and pass through the checkpoints in the quickest transit regime. This will solve the problem of lines, eliminate the excess the hype and tense", – the Coordinator believes.
In July the Humanitarian Center is planning to increase the intensity of humanitarian aid delivery. Two convoys, consisting on 246 heavy-duty trucks that will deliver 4,920 tons of food are getting ready to leave. This will help to form 450,000 survival kits for adults and 39,000 packages for babies, both on government-controlled areas of Donbas and across the contact line. "Helping Donbas civilians is a life philosophy of Rinat Akhmetov and the motto of the Humanitarian Center. And we will do everything we can to deliver this aid, despite all the difficulties and danger", – Rimma Fil said