Remarks by Mr. Yuri Vitrenko, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of Ukraine to the UN, at the UNOCHA briefing on the humanitarian situation and response and recovery efforts in Ukraine

Remarks by Mr. Yuri Vitrenko, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of Ukraine to the UN, at the UNOCHA briefing on the humanitarian situation and response and recovery efforts in Ukraine

Ukraine commends OCHA, UNDP and UN Office in Ukraine for holding this important briefing on the humanitarian situation and response, and recovery efforts in Ukraine.

And thank you for your interest, dear participants. It is thanks to you, I’m sure, that this crisis won’t get a hashtag “forgotten one”.

I would like to express gratitude to all those involved on the UN side, both in New York and Kyiv, for their efforts aimed at improving the living conditions of civilian population in the conflict-affected areas of Donbas due to the foreign aggression.

And, of course, special thanks go to Mr. Walker personally for his dedicated efforts during the last four years as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator. It’s not an overstatement that these four years were the toughest one in the modern — if not all — Ukrainian history, and we always felt and were sure of your support and commitment to Ukraine.

I, for one, was privileged to see your high-class performance on numerous occasions as Deputy Director-General of Ukraine’s MFA DIO back in 2014–15.

Dear Colleagues,

The Government of Ukraine is doing its utmost to address the humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict, particularly of the IDPs. Currently it focuses on fixing the major systemic problems in their social integration and adaptation.

For example, at the end of last year, in order to provide the most sustainable solution possible, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the State Program on Recovery and Peacebuilding in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine. The main goal of this Program is to promote social and economic development of the concerned communities, as well as strengthen their capacities and social stability.

Yet, you’re all well aware, including from OCHA’s regular Humanitarian Snapshots and Bulletins, that the humanitarian outlook in Ukraine remains very difficult. The ongoing ceasefire violations, large areas contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance endanger lives of nearly 600,000 Ukrainians living near the ‘contact line’.

Overall, according to the UN, more than 3.4 million people residing on both sides of ‘contact line’ are in need of humanitarian assistance.

There is also a whole range of threats which can lead to further deterioration of the protracted humanitarian crisis in this region. For one, the Donetsk Water Filter Station, which services about 350,000 people, was recently shut down for security reasons.

Of no less danger is the mines flooding by the occupation authorities. Especially dangerous are their plans, reported by the OSCE SMM, to flood the abandoned Yunkom coal mine — site of Soviet nuclear test in 1979 — which will threaten drinking water of thousands of Ukrainians in government-uncontrolled territories.


It is against this sobering background that the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) becomes even more instrumental for effectively addressing protection needs for millions of conflict-affected people in Donbas.

The funds envisaged, namely $187 million, constitute a tiny fraction of the global humanitarian budget. But a fully-funded HRP would help the Government of Ukraine to make a substantial difference for at least 2,3 million people targeted by the Plan.

Last year’s HRP was funded only an 35 %. We hope this will be redressed this time around. Ukraine calls on donors to redouble their efforts for mobilizing funds, including for the Multi Partner Trust Fund for Recovery and Peacebuilding in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine.

Let me close by once again expressing our huge appreciation for the assistance being provided to Ukraine by OCHA, UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and other UN agencies; bilateral partners, especially the EU, US, Canada; ICRC and other international NGOs.

My Government together with the humanitarian partners will continue to implement humanitarian action in full respect of the basic principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality.

Thank you.