"Another round of evacuations of civilians from Azovstal steelworks and other areas around Mariupol has been successfully concluded today. I am immensely relieved to confirm that more than 170 people who have endured over 10 weeks of intense shelling and fighting are now able to have some respite in Zaporizhzhia, where humanitarian organizations will provide immediate assistance to them.
This new safe passage operation brings the total number of people evacuated from the area to over 600. It has been possible thanks to the determination of the teams from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross with whom I have worked hand in hand during the last 10 days. Close coordination and agreement with the parties to the conflict has also been vital to ensure we could carry out this complex operation safely.
Our work, however, is not yet done. The UN is aware that scores of people who wanted to join the evacuation convoys over the last days were unable to do so. We will continue our engagement with both parties to the conflict to make sure that those who want to leave have the guarantees to do so safely and in the direction of their choice, and that we can reach people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Mariupol and other hard-to-reach areas across Ukraine."
Zaporizhzhia, 8 May 2022.
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