GENEVA / UKRAINE CRISIS UPDATE

01-Apr-2022 00:01:44
Efforts to help thousands of desperate residents flee the embattled Ukrainian city of Mariupol continued on Friday, as humanitarians warned that there is “no Plan B,” after weeks of constant shelling since the Russian invasion on 24 February. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE CRISIS UPDATE
TRT: 1:43
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 1 April 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:
1. Wide shot, flag alley, UN Geneva, exterior.
2. Med shot, podium speaker, large-screen TV, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ewan Watson, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):
“We remain hopeful, we are in action, moving towards Mariupol, that is obviously a good thing, but it is not yet clear that this will happen today.”
4. Med shot, podium, speakers, large-screen TV, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ewan Watson, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):
“If and when it does happen, the ICRC’s role as a mutual intermediary will be to lead the convoy out from Mariupol to another city in Ukraine. We are unable to confirm which city at the moment as this is something the parties must agree to.”
6. Med shot, journalists, large-screen TV
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ewan Watson, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):
“There is no plan B here, we have been working for weeks and telling the media about our efforts to get into Mariupol with aid and to allow the safe passage of civilians out of the city. Time is running out for the people of Mariupol.”
8. Med shot, podium, speakers, large-screen TV, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tomson Phiri, World Food Programme (WFP):
“People are stressed and they are running out of options; with each day it is taking the toll on them. Our plan as the World Food Programme is to support more and more people; we want to reach at least three million people in the coming weeks and months.”
10. Med shot, participants, journalists, TV camera, light panel
11. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): (English) Tomson Phiri, World Food Programme (WFP):
“One of the biggest challenges we face here is that there are not that many humanitarian partners who are able to work in besieged places.”
12. Med shot, participants, journalists, TV camera
13. Med shot, participants, journalists, TV camera
14. Med shot, participant

STORYLINE:
Efforts to help thousands of desperate residents flee the embattled Ukrainian city of Mariupol continued on Friday, as humanitarians warned that there is “no Plan B”, after weeks of constant shelling since the Russian invasion on 24 February.

The development follows an initial attempt to evacuate civilians from the southern port city at the beginning of March when a resumption in hostilities ultimately dashed hopes of safe passage for those wanting to leave.

“We remain hopeful, we are in action, moving towards Mariupol, that is obviously a good thing, but it is not yet clear that this will happen today,” said Ewan Watson, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“If and when it does happen, the ICRC’s role as a mutual intermediary will be to lead the convoy out from Mariupol to another city in Ukraine. We are unable to confirm which city at the moment as this is something the parties must agree to.”

More than 50 buses are expected to roll out of Mariupol, accompanied by other civilian and ICRC vehicles, providing a “humanitarian marker on this movement of people…giving the convoy additional protection”, the ICRC spokesperson told journalists in Geneva.

“There is no plan B here, we have been working for weeks and telling the media about our efforts to get into Mariupol with aid and to allow the safe passage of civilians out of the city. Time is running out for the people of Mariupol.”

Across Ukraine, humanitarian needs continue to worsen and spread “by the hour”, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned.

The agency has delivered life-saving food assistance, including ready-to-eat food, bread, and cash assistance, to one million people affected by the war. “People are stressed, and they are running out of options,” said WFP spokesperson Tomson Phiri.

“Our plan," Phiri added, "is to support more and more people, we want to reach at least three million people in the coming weeks and months”, he added, along with, as well as 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers who have fled to neighbouring countries.

The UN agency has already prepositioned close to 40,000 tonnes of food, wheat flour and food rations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries for distribution. And despite the continuing violence which has included shelling and street fighting, “WFP has delivered food to vulnerable families in the encircled cities of Kharkiv and Sumy, through two interagency humanitarian convoys that have reached the conflict-hit areas,” Phiri said.

“One of the biggest challenges we face here is that there are not that many humanitarian partners who are able to work in besieged places.”

In Kharkiv, WPF has also distributed 330,000 loaves of freshly baked bread and it is expanding this bakery initiative to other cities, with the aim of delivering another 990,000 loaves in the coming weeks.

WFP has also delivered stocks of rapid-response food packages in Dnipro and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine, and in Vinnytsia in the center-western region, for inter-agency crossline convoys and for use by WFP partners.

In areas indirectly affected by the war and where food is available and retail shops are operating normally, WFP has started providing cash or vouchers as a means of support, Phiri explained.
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