Essential supplies have been delivered to thousands of people in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson for the first time since Russia’s invasion on 24 February, UN humanitarians announced.
Aid workers brought food, water, hygiene kits, shelter materials, and critical household items, such as bedding, thermal blankets, and solar lamps, to more than 6,000 people in the city, which returned to Ukrainian control after Russian troops withdrew.
Russian forces have occupied Kherson since March, capturing the city in the first weeks of the war. So far, it is the only regional capital to fall to the invaders.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Denise Brown, said on Monday that “the people of Kherson are struggling to meet their basic needs, only adding to the trauma of having endured months of constant bombardments, being forced to flee their homes, and seeing their loved ones being killed or injured”.
She added that they needed urgent support “and we must act quickly to help them.”
The city faces a shortage of water and electricity, markets are running low on food, and health facilities suffer a total lack of medicines. Now that humanitarian aid is arriving in the city, medicine is being supplied to one major health center sufficient to treat more than 1,000 patients over the next month.
More aid is on the way
The humanitarian community will continue to mobilize resources and supplies over the coming days to expand their operations and bring more aid to people in all areas of the Kherson region.
In recent weeks, life-saving items have been delivered to more than 12,000 people in other towns and villages retaken by Ukraine in the Kherson region, including Novovorontsovka, Novooleksandrivka, Velyka Oleksandrivka, and Vysokopillia. So far this year, humanitarian organizations have reached 100,000 people in the region, most of them with cash assistance.
We stand with the people: Brown
“With the support of our partners, particularly the local organizations, I am confident that we will be able to do much more in the days and weeks ahead,” Ms. Brown said. “We must stand with the people of Kherson in their hour of need.”
The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, visited the city and said that a “long and difficult path” lies ahead despite the liberation of Kherson from Russian control, according to news reports. He pledged that Ukraine is “moving forward”.