Some humanitarian news reported this week.
Winter & war is a bad combination. Olena and her 7 month old baby Yelyzaveta live in the front line village of Majorsk. With the on-going fighting, poorly maintained roads, deep snow and no local hospital, she worries about how soon an ambulance, or medical assistance would arrive in case of an emergency. Reported by Ukrainian Delegation of – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Twitter.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have published their monthly – Check Points Snapshot report. For Dec last year, it lists a total of 1.1 million Ukrainians crossed the front line. Many of the people are elderly and therefore least able to endure the long hours spent waiting to cross and all that nature and at times the war can throw at them. With security checks on both sides and then time spent waiting for buses and transport to take them away from the front line, it’s unsurprising that some simply can’t cope anymore. Hardly a week goes by without one or more people having died at a checkpoint from a heart attack.
People undertake this soul-sapping journey to visit relatives, check on properties, buy food/goods and to collect their pensions. Taken last week, the above pictures show the Ukrainian held checkpoint at Stanytsia Luhanska. Visit the Radio Free Europe website for more pics and info.
Just down the road from where Olena and Yelyzaveta live, the OSCE has been helping ensure snow clearance can take place safely. This happened at the busy Ukrainian checkpoint at Majorsk. Located opposite the Russian occupied town of Horlivka and in a fighting hot spot, the OSCE endeavour to reach local ceasefire agreements to enable this type of much-needed work to be undertaken. Recently, this exposed checkpoint has come under fire by Russia’s forces.
As I’ve said many times, the bulk of those left living in front line towns, villages and settlements are over 60. With little or no public transport, few functioning shops and all too often having limited funds, preparing for another grueling winter can be tough. Thanks to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) winter funding programme, this single 80-year-old woman from Myronivka was provided with a supply of solid fuel to survive the cold. Check out the UNHCR Twitter account for more info.