ICRC, 18.03.2020. Kyiv – In light of the spreading of the COVID-19 virus, the ICRC would like to inform the public that our humanitarian work and our support to the people affected by the conflict in Donbas will continue and that it will be adapted to the overall measures taken to contain the virus.

These are difficult times for all affected peoples and countries around the globe, however, the most difficult is for those who are already suffering from the situations of conflicts and violence. They are hit the hardest.

In Ukraine, the conflict in Donbas is ongoing amid the COVID-19 crises. Just a few days, ago two civilians have been wounded in the cross fire.

Whilst the focus is on taking all the measures necessary to contain the COVID-19, we must remind that it is the obligation of all weapon bearers to take precautionary measures under international humanitarian law to spare civilians and key infrastructure objects while engaging in armed hostilities.

Only one hit to the water supply facilities might be lethal for thousands of civilians who would not be able to implement the basic COVID prevention measures, such as frequent hand-washing. This is particularly concerning the elderly who remain one of the categories of people the most affected by the conflict and living in the area of the contact line in Donbas.

The ICRC responsibility as a humanitarian organization in times like this is first and foremost to advocate and work to ensure peoples’ safety, provide basic livelihood, such as food and hygiene, fresh water and shelter.

Therefore, our humanitarian work will continue as follows:

  • ICRC teams on both sides of the line of contact will do their utmost to continue working to support the most vulnerable population through the COVID-19 crisis with a focus on access to healthcare. For the elderlies we shall continue to provide access to basic goods, such as food.
  • Our support to the water companies that supply water to both sides of the contact line, in the areas of Donetsk – Voda Donbasa, and in Luhansk region will continue. We shall be providing support in repairing the latest destructions due to hostilities on the Gorlovka Filtration Station, including to support water supply to Mariupol.
  • We have offered material support to the Ministry of Justice and the Penitentiary system of Ukraine and we are ready to further provide our technical support.
  • We have been supporting the work of our Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Partners, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society as well as their joint efforts with the Ministry of Health, and the National Security and Defense Council to disseminate good hygiene practices and prevention measures across the country.

This information will be updated as the situation will develop. Please follow us on ICRC social media handles – Facebook and Twitter for more updates on our activities. For more detailed information per region please call one of our six ICRC humanitarian hot-line numbers:

  • For Slavyansk area 0 800 300 115
  • For Severodonetsk area 0 800 300 125
  • For Mariupol area 0 800 300 165
  • For Donetsk area 0 800 300 185
  • For Luhansk area 0 800 300 195
  • For Kyiv 0 800 300 155

For all additional information please contact Oleksandr Vlasenko at +38 095 262 80 23 or Sanela Bajrambasic at +38 095 262 80 49.