As hostilities in Ukraine grow, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is reminding all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law by ensuring that civilians and civilian infrastructure, especially schools, hospitals, and water systems are protected from armed violence.
“We are deeply concerned to see the escalation in violence, which will have serious humanitarian consequences for the civilian population, which is already heavily affected by the consequences of eight years of conflict. The humanitarian needs are already enormous and almost three million people in Ukraine are dependent on life-saving humanitarian aid. There is no doubt that the current development will significantly aggravate the needs”, says Charlotte Slente, Secretary General of DRC.
She added that while DRC is following the situation closely as it develops by the minute, we remain in the country and are committed to continuing our work. Slente emphasized the importance of ensuring that humanitarian organizations that work in Ukraine continue to have access to provide a humanitarian response to the civilian population.
“Our focus is on saving lives, ensuring access for basic emergency aid, protection of those affected by the conflict, whether in Ukraine or those crossing borders to seek protection, as well as ensuring lasting solutions for the civilian population”, said Charlotte Slente; “I also want to repeat that diplomatic efforts should prevail over any intensification of the already existing armed violence to avoid further human suffering. DRC calls on all parties to the conflict to agree to a lasting ceasefire, as this is the only way to protect civilians from violence and other violations of their rights.”