UKRAINE / AZOVSTAL EVACUATION

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03-May-2022 00:02:41
In Ukraine on Tuesday, UN humanitarians began to help the first evacuees arriving from Mariupol’s devastated Azovstal steel works, more than two months since Russia’s invasion began, and said that they would do everything possible to assist those still trapped. OCHA

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STORY: UKRAINE / AZOVSTAL EVACUATION
TRT: 2:41
SOURCE: OCHA
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 MAY 2022, ZAPORIZHZHIA, UKRAINE

SHOTLIST:
1. Various shots, evacuees arrived by bus
2. Various shots, Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani at the site
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Osnat Lubrani, Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, OCHA:
“My hope is that we can continue to engage with the parties and if there is a possibility and we can go in as soon as, you know, as soon as possible to start planning tomorrow to take those that are out of concern, because we hear that there is, again, shelling of the Plant. So we are committed to continue to engage with the parties to more safe passage evacuations, and not just in Mariupol, but also in other parts of Ukraine where people are under attack.”
4. Various shots, OCHA personnel working at the site

STORYLINE:

In Ukraine on Tuesday (03 May), UN humanitarians began to help the first evacuees arriving from Mariupol’s devastated Azovstal steel works, more than two months since Russia’s invasion began, and said that they would do everything possible to assist those still trapped.

“I'm relieved to confirm that the safe passage operation from Mariupol has been successful. “The people I travelled with told me heartbreaking stories of the hell they went through” tweeted Osnat Lubrani, the UN’s top aid official in Ukraine.

Ms. Lubrani noted that 101 civilians had been evacuated from the steel plant and other areas in Mariupol, in an operation which began on Friday, coordinated by the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in line with commitments made following the UN chief's recent visit to Moscow and Kyiv.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said in a statement that he was pleased to receive news of the successful evacuation.

"I hope the continued coordination with Kyiv and Moscow will lead to more humanitarian pauses that will allow civilians safe passage away from the fighting and aid to reach people where the needs are greatest."

UN aid coordination office, OCHA, also tweeted confirmation that the first evacuees had started to arrive a reception centre in Zaporizhzhia, more than 200 miles north of Mariupol.

A tweet from OCHA on the ground confirmed the buses were on the move on Sunday, coordinated by the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and “parties to the conflict.”

Ahead of the Azovstal steel plant arrivals at Zaporizhzhia reception centre, Dr Dorit Nizan, World Health Organization (WHO) Incident Manager for Ukraine, reported seeing many other civilians from towns and villages on the outskirts of western Mariupol.

“We are already receiving people, mainly mothers and children from Mariupol and its vicinity,” she said. “Cars are coming with volunteers from the region here, Zaporizhzhia, that are driving them from the contact line.”

Before the Russian invasion on 24 February, Mariupol’s population numbered around 500,000. Today, around 100,000 are believed to remain in the battered city, the WHO official said.

Although the majority of these arrivals had only minor injuries which required medical care, mental health linked to the trauma of the war “is a big issue” which will require care and support in the longer term, the WHO official explained.

Since the start of the war, the UN health agency has delivered 382 tonnes of medical supplies to Ukraine, including 291 tonnes that have already reached beneficiaries. The agency has established hubs across the vast country, including in Lviv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Donetsk and Luhansk.

“Many people left these regions because they are close to the contact line, and they are you know, under fight(ing) and shelling,” Dr Nizan said. “But many of the health workers stayed to deliver, to help, and those that left are replaced by other health care workers that came from the other areas that were occupied.”

Latest data from the WHO indicates that there have been 186 attacks on health care in Ukraine since 24 February, causing 73 deaths and 52 injuries. Heavy weapons were responsible for the vast majority.
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