The budget of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the provision of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine has been increased to 250 million Swiss francs, the organization’s president, Peter Maurer, said.
“Some 75 million Swiss francs until February 24 (Russian invasion of Ukraine) per year was the approximate budget of the International Committee of the Red Cross for Ukraine. We asked our donors for 150 million Swiss francs. As a result, now our budget for Ukraine is 250 million Swiss francs. Then there are donors who are very generous in everything related to the situation in Ukraine, and this will allow us to expand our activities,” Maurer said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine and the Ukraine 24 TV Channel.
According to him, the ICRC’s humanitarian operation in Ukraine is the largest in the world in recent decades.
“Just for comparison: before the escalation in Ukraine, the largest Red Cross operations were carried out in Afghanistan, Syria. That is, with a budget of 180-190 million. Now Ukraine is our largest operation in the world,” he said.
Maurer also noted that the ICRC has already delivered 200 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and is ready to start distributing it.
Among other types of support, he named the intention of the organization to locally purchase goods and receive services, to support the economy. The president of the humanitarian organization also said that he had agreed with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on the implementation of a cash support scheme for the country, similar to the one during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that, according to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, the ICRC will return its representative to Kyiv.
“Had a telephone conversation with the President of the ICRC Peter Maurer. Received positive signal! The Red Cross representatives are returning to Kyiv. Our top priority now is to deliver humanitarian aid to the surrounded cities and evacuate people urgently,” Shmyhal said on Twitter.
The Ukrainian Red Cross Society has no right to independently organize humanitarian corridors for the removal of civilians, its press service told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday. “The Red Cross Society of Ukraine does not have an independent right to organize ‘green corridors’, but it helps local and state authorities in coordinating the evacuation of civilians,” Director General of the National Committee of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine Maksym Dotsenko, whose words are quoted in a press release, said.
He said that in some cases, the Red Cross Society of Ukraine helps local and state authorities in coordinating the evacuation of civilians, while the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the potential and appropriate contacts with all parties to the conflict, organizes “green corridors” for evacuation.
“The International Committee of the Red Cross is ready to fulfill its role of a neutral intermediary and provide support within its capabilities,” the statement said.
“The Red Cross Society of Ukraine, as an absolutely neutral humanitarian organization, also notes the need for a bilateral agreement between the parties to the armed conflict for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the removal of the civilian population through ‘green corridors “, the organization said.
The Ukrainian state asks the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to urgently take the necessary steps to organize humanitarian corridors and is ready, for its part, to do everything necessary to evacuate the civilian population and deliver humanitarian supplies.
Settlements in the areas of hostilities that require the creation of humanitarian corridors are located in Sumy region (Sumy, Shostka, Romny, Konotop, Okhtyrka), Chernihiv region (eastern and northern parts), Kharkiv region (all of the region except the south-eastern parts), Kyiv (Bucha, Irpin, Vyshgorod, Ivankiv, Vasylkiv, Borodianka), Mykolaiv region (Bashtansky, Snihuriv, Bereznehuvatsky directions), Zaporizhia region (Tokmatsky, Berdiansk, Velykobilozersky directions), Kherson (Chaplynka, Kalanchak, Henichesk and Nova Kakhovka directions), Luhansk and Donetsk regions (Volnovakha district, Mariupol district), etc.
The Ukrainian side is ready to ensure the transportation of people and the delivery of humanitarian goods. The Ukrainian Armed Forces guarantee safe passage of the corridor. Ukraine is expecting this from the Russian side.