I am deeply saddened by the deaths of at least two aid workers who were killed, together with five of their relatives, during an attack that hit the office of the non-governmental organization Caritas in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on 15 March. The events took place nearly one month ago but the information has become available only now.
Both aid workers dedicated their lives to the service of others through their work for Caritas. On behalf of the United Nations and the humanitarian community, I send our heartfelt condolences to their families and colleagues, and to those of the other civilians who were killed while on the Caritas premises.
This deeply tragic and unacceptable event is just one example of this war’s horrific consequences for civilians, including aid workers. Tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol — which has been an epicentre of horror since the conflict began — and in other locations around Ukraine have now endured 50 days of violence and shelling. More than 1,932 civilians have died since 24 February, including more than 150 children. This must stop.
I urgently call on the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, homes and civilian infrastructure across Ukraine.
I also reiterate the appeal for the parties to the conflict to urgently agree on clear arrangements for the safe passage of civilians out of areas where their lives are at risk, as well as the safe, rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance into areas where civilians are facing catastrophic levels of need, especially in areas that have been or remain besieged.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.