Evacuation not enough to address humanitarian need in Mariupol in Ukraine

Since Russian troops surrounded the city on March 2, the city has been left with dwindling access to water, food, lifesaving medicine and electricity. Across the city hundreds of thousands of people have been living without running water or heating in below freezing winter temperatures.  

The convoy of urgently needed relief goods is still stuck outside the city, however most recent reports indicate that it is now on the way and should reach Mariupol in the coming days.  

“The longer the convoy is stuck outside of Mariupol, the more people are at risk of hunger and illness,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO. 

“Because of the repeated shelling, our partner, Caritas Ukraine, hasn’t been able to deliver relief goods like water, food or hygiene kits. It’s not the only organisation that has its hands tied in supporting vulnerable people on the ground when a city is inaccessible.” 

“It just goes to show how absolutely vital it is to keep these humanitarian corridors open during conflict. Without them, even organisations like Caritas Ukraine with decades of experience in coordinating shipments of relief goods, are struggling to get relief goods to where they are most needed.” 

“Mariupol is a key city for Russian invaders because it will enable them to build a corridor to illegally annex Crimea for the Russian federation,” said Vladyslav Shelokov, Caritas Ukraine’s Resource Mobilisation Director.  

“What is really interesting is that these Russian invaders are attacking the social infrastructure of the city, like the maternity hospital that was recently attacked. Through the media we’ve now seen the pictures of women going through the ruins of the hospital after it was bombed, and it was shocking to me that this was happening in the 21st century.” 

Caritas Australia is working directly with Caritas Ukraine and its local partner Caritas Spes to support Ukrainian families with food, hygiene kits, clean water, psychological support, and emergency shelter to displaced families. Since the beginning of the conflict, Caritas Ukraine has assisted more than 70,000 people across the country. 


Donations can be made at: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine/ 

Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 /  jessica.stone@caritas.org.au   



Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO is available for interview. 

Spokespeople from Caritas Ukraine are also available for interview.