GENEVA / UKRAINE AID DELIVERY

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23-Apr-2021 00:02:49
Twenty-three tonnes of urgently needed aid items have reached eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast after a humanitarian convoy crossed the contact line into non-government-controlled territory, the UN said on Friday. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE AID DELIVERY
TRT: 2:49
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior

23 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
2. Wide shot, dais with speakers in a near-empty Room XIV in line with COVID-19 distancing measures, Palais des Nations.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In Ukraine, we had a United Nations organized humanitarian convoy yesterday, delivering 23 tonnes of hygiene items to the Donetsk Oblast through the Novotroitske crossing point. This is the second UN convoy through this point since the re-opening for delivery of humanitarian cargo a little over a week ago. It is the only one operational for humanitarian aid deliveries on the contact line.”
4. Med shot, dais with speakers to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The first delivery since the re-opening was on 15 April when five trucks crossed with 18 tonnes of COVID-19 supplies to Donetsk which is a non-government-controlled area. The crossing point was closed earlier for humanitarian cargos on 24 February and that was due to security concerns by the parties.”
6. Med shot, journalist sitting in front of laptop and podium with speakers to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The opening is welcome as needs remain very high with nearly 1.7 million people in need of assistance in the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. The elderly, people with disabilities, female-headed households and children are amongst the most vulnerable.”
8. Med shot, journalist listening and wearing mask, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Since March of last year, you may recall, we have seen an almost complete closing of civilian crossings over the contact line due to COVID-19 restrictions. For humanitarian deliveries, only this one crossing point was available, where we used to have five.”
10. Med shot, Un staff member typing on laptop, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“These restrictions to non-government-controlled areas obviously have a direct impact on the capacity of the UN and our humanitarian partners to help the affected people, but restrictions is not the only challenge. Our Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires USD 168 million, remains 13 per cent funded.”
12. Med shot, Un staff member sitting in front of laptop, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Almost 1.7 million people are identified as being in need of our supplies and with a long-time closure of course the needs are obviously not decreasing but rather increasing and for that, we certainly need the access and we need the funding.”
14. Med shot, TV broadcasting in foreground and podium to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In March, Ukraine experienced a tripling of the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide compared with February, so the curve is going up and not down.”
16. Med shot, journalist listening, Room XIV, Palais des Nations
17. Close up, camera lens filming, Room XIV, Palais des Nations

STORYLINE:

Twenty-three tonnes of urgently needed aid items have reached eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast after a humanitarian convoy crossed the contact line into non-government-controlled territory, the UN said on Friday.

This is the second UN-organised convoy to pass through the Novotroitske crossing point since it reopened for the delivery of humanitarian cargo a little over a week ago.

The crossing is currently the only one that is operational for humanitarian aid deliveries along the contact line. It had been closed for humanitarian cargo movement since 24 February owing to security concerns.

“The opening is welcome as needs remain very high with nearly 1.7 million people in need of assistance in the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA).

The first delivery was on 15 April, when five trucks crossed with 18 tons of COVID-19 supplies to the non-government-controlled area in Donetsk (NGCA).

"Since March last year, we have seen an almost complete closure of civilian crossings over the contact line due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Laerke told journalists in Geneva.

“For humanitarian deliveries, only this one crossing point was available, where we used to have four or five,” he added.

The recent surge in hostilities along the “contact line” after seven months of relative calm following the July 2020 ceasefire has also resulted in more hardship and security risks for people forced to cross the contact line to access essential services.

Unconfirmed reports have indicated that people have resorted to taking the uncontrolled Ukrainian-Russian crossing point, which can be subject to administrative fines and legal challenges, in addition to incurring high travel costs.

Access restrictions to non-government-controlled areas have “a direct impact on the capacity of the UN and our humanitarian partners to help the affected people,” said Laerke.

The current COVID-19 situation in the country means that needs are “obviously not decreasing but rather increasing,” he continued.

“In March, Ukraine experienced the tripling of the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide compared with February, so the curve is going up and not down,” explained Laerke.

The OCHA spokesperson said access is not the only challenge. He added, “Our 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine requires USD 168 million remains 13 per cent funded.”
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