Jock Mendoza-Wilson: “Crossing checkpoints is a disaster. Access system must be improved.”
Rinat Akhmetov's humanitarian programme is much supported and trusted by Donbas people in need, SCM Director of International and Investor Relations Jock Mendoza-Wilson stressed at the round table Humanitarian map for Donbas: results of the year and expectations of civilians.
"Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been trapped by the conflict and faced the most aggressive side of the war. They feel they have become lost to Ukraine. As we reached 18 months of the conflict, we have seen that financial and emotional resources of Donbas residents have been depleted despite some improvement in the humanitarian situation in certain cities and towns. Therefore, today they need desperately to feel and enjoy more support from us," said Jock Mendoza-Wilson.
It is of particular concern that according to the Humanitarian Map survey, only 24% believe the military conflict will end next year in contrast to 40% last year. Sociologists say it is down to the hostilities which have recently intensified in Donbas.
Jock Mendoza-Wilson underlined that the government should not only recognise the urgency of the humanitarian aid now, but also to review its attitude to people. As the New Year approaches, many Donbas residents will have to go through checkpoints.
"Crossing checkpoints is a disaster as people have to queue long, often overnight. The access system should be immediately improved, otherwise we'll face even more problems in the coming months. People should have the opportunity to visit their kids, parents and relatives, particularly in the New Year season. All the Ukrainians want a normal, peaceful, family life, no matter where they live – in the eastern or central Ukraine. "I'm Scottish and lived six years in Donetsk. Donetsk is my Ukraine. And I know what the residents feel now. We all should recognize that these people are Ukrainian citizens, they must not be forgotten, particularly now," he added.