UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said Tuesday that he met with Russian senior officials in Moscow on Monday “in the pursuit of a humanitarian ceasefire” and that he hopes to meet with Ukrainian officials for the same reason on Wednesday.
“Yesterday, in Moscow, I had long and frank exchanges with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov and his Deputy, Sergey Vershinin, and separately with the Deputy Minister of Defense,” Griffiths said. “In my meetings with these senior officials, I also discussed humanitarian convoys, including the four which have already been able to move. I outlined possibilities for building on this cooperation, sharing specific suggestions for mutually agreed upon military freezes to allow for evacuations of civilians and for the safe passage of life-saving aid.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had previously charged Griffiths on March 28 with meeting with the parties involved to seek arrangements for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine.
Griffiths said he came away from these meetings “believing that we have a long road ahead of us.”
“But it must be traveled, and Madame President, we will travel it,” Griffiths said, addressing the UN Security Council and its current president, UK Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward.
Griffiths added that he hopes to travel to Ukraine on Wednesday to have discussions with senior Ukrainian government officials on the same issues.
The United Nations and its partner organizations continue to make “every effort to dramatically increase [their] support to affected civilians,” Griffiths said.
Here's a summary of the humanitarian aid that has been provided to Ukraine so far, according to the UN:
- There are about 6,000 volunteers working with the Ukrainian Red Cross and local NGOs.
- The World Food Programme has reached more than 1.3 million people with cash and food assistance and plans to reach around 2.5 million people this month.
- UN Health partners report more than 180 tons of medical supplies delivered in Ukraine, with another 470 tons on the way. This will address the health needs of around six million people in the months ahead.
- Another humanitarian convoy was dispatched from a coordination hub in Dnipro to the far east of Ukraine on Monday.
- Four humanitarian convoys in total have provided “critical support to people in some of the cities with ongoing fighting. Several more are planned.”
- On Tuesday, food, winter clothing, non-food items, medicine and hygiene kits were offloaded to the Ukraine Red Cross and will reach the hands of those in most need.