Caritas Australia calls for urgent humanitarian corridor in Ukraine
05 Mar 22
Caritas Australia joins the international Caritas network and World Health Organisation in calling for an urgent humanitarian corridor in Ukraine to prevent further loss and suffering. Increasing numbers of people are trapped in cities under constant attack, unable to leave as wide-scale evacuations have not been possible.
“There is an urgent need to establish a humanitarian corridor to ensure that aid workers and vital emergency supplies can reach people in need,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO. “This includes lifesaving medicine and medical supplies, which many cities no longer have access to.”
“We’re seeing civilian casualties and injuries increasing very rapidly. Huge numbers of people are flocking to the borders trying to escape – at the moment it’s estimated over 870,000 have fled to safer territories, and at least 100,000 are internally displaced.”
“The sheer quantity of refugees and displaced people is a logistical challenge at the best of times, but the ongoing and brutal military conflict makes it even tougher to reach the people most in need. It also makes it harder for less mobile groups to escape safely – like the elderly, children in state or Church care, people living with disabilities or in hospital care.”
“We’re hearing about vulnerable children and elderly people that are trapped in conflict zones, with limited options to be safely evacuated. These vulnerable groups are now living through heavy bombardment and artillery fire, and heavily reliant on aid organisations to provide ongoing food, shelter and basic services. The creation of a humanitarian corridor would enable these vulnerable groups to get the support they need and also be evacuated.”
“We’re also concerned about the safety of Caritas staff based in Ukraine, as the security situation is extremely volatile and tense on the ground. They continue to deliver services, but a humanitarian corridor would make an enormous difference. It would save lives immediately, but it would also help prevent people in Ukraine from falling further into crisis without food supplies, medicine and access to clean water.”
“Thousands of people have had to leave their homes because of Russian aggression. Caritas Ukraine is doing everything possible, and everything impossible to assist and support people because of war. But the situation is extremely complex and unpredictable,” said Odarka Bordun, Caritas Ukraine’s Communications Manager.
Caritas Australia is working directly with Caritas Ukraine and its local partner Caritas Spes to support Ukrainian families who have fled their homes with vital emergency supplies including food, hygiene kits, clean water, psychological support, and emergency shelter to displaced families.
Donations can be made at: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine/
Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO is available for interview.