Immediate ceasefire needed to aid civilians in Ukraine

By Norwegian Refugee Council

Immediate ceasefire needed to aid civilians in Ukraine

NRC calls for an immediate truce that can end hostilities and enable life-saving relief. This ceasefire must end the fierce fighting in and around densely populated areas across Ukraine, which paralyzes the humanitarian work of aid organizations on the ground. NRC cannot come to the relief of vulnerable communities engulfed by war when our aid workers are in bomb shelters and fleeing from attacks.

The organization cannot save lives under a hail of bombs and grenades. The elderly, the disabled, and families with children are stuck in towns under airstrikes and shelling without safe passage and no means of transportation. Millions are now in frontline locations. With empty shops, overwhelmed healthcare, and no electricity or safe water, local and international aid groups on the ground must urgently resume their work.

There are mounting numbers of civilian casualties across the country, disproportionally reported from Eastern Ukraine, where I visited in early February. These areas have more elderly, disabled, and isolated communities than elsewhere. Families with children and elderly pensioners cannot escape the inferno they are living through.

NRC’s courageous humanitarian colleagues on the ground tell the of continuous horrific attacks and fighting since the start of the invasion. It is now increasingly difficult for their families to find food and other vital necessities because empty shops are not resupplied. People are cut off from electricity, water, healthcare, and basic services and have to spend days and nights in bunkers. Local communities are trying to organize themselves and support the most vulnerable, but are often unable to do so due to the lack of fuel.

The madness must stop. The men who started this war sit in safe and comfortable offices. They can end it and resume meaningful political talks. Defenseless civilians are paying the highest price for their senseless war.