UN: Humanitarian situation in Ukraine ‘much worse’ than before collapse of Kakhovka Dam

In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Griffiths evaluated the humanitarian situation in Ukraine after the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam.

Stating that the humanitarian situation in the country was “much worse” than before the dam collapsed, Griffiths stressed that 700 thousand more people needed drinking water after the said situation.

Pointing to the devastating effects of flooding in a region called “the breadbasket of the world”, Griffiths warned that this situation will inevitably lead to a decrease in grain exports, higher food prices worldwide, and millions of poor people to eat less.

“This is a problem that spreads like a virus,” said Griffiths.

Noting that the UN, which generally works with Ukrainian aid groups, has reached 30 thousand people in the areas under the control of Ukraine, Griffiths said that Russia has not allowed access to the flood victims in the areas under its control until now.

Stating that they met with Vassily Nebenzia, the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, on June 7, the teams in Ukraine went through the front line to get permission from the Russian authorities to provide aid and support to the Ukrainians in these regions, Griffiths noted that they shared the details in the meeting to meet the demands of the Moscow administration.

Griffiths pointed out that emergency response is very important to save lives, but beyond that, 700,000 people on the sides of the Dnieper River under both Russian and Ukrainian control have the problem of lack of adequate drinking water.

Noting that important agricultural areas were also flooded, Griffiths stated that the problem of providing the necessary water to cool the reactors at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant is also imminent.

Griffiths stated that floods may also threaten children and the elderly, by carrying land mines due to war to different regions.

Reminding that the collapse of the dam has far-reaching consequences, Griffiths said that it is inevitable that the UN will apply for more funding so that Ukraine can cope with a larger problem arising from the failure of the dam.

Griffiths stated that he wanted to wait a few weeks before applying to see the economic, health and environmental consequences.

Extension of the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement

“We are working on the extension of the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement,” said Griffiths, with Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

Noting that the opening of the pipeline for Russia’s ammonia export and the delivery of ammonia to other regions are their priorities within the scope of the agreement, Griffiths underlined that ammonia is of vital importance for global food security.

“So let’s hope it’s not badly damaged,” Griffiths said, noting that they favor repairing the pipeline as soon as possible.

It was announced that the Russian-controlled Kakhovka Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Kherson region in the south of Ukraine was hit by bombs on 6 June. The region faced a major environmental disaster due to flooding, and Ukraine and Russia made statements accusing each other of hitting the dam.

Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement

In order to reduce the impact of Russia’s attack on Ukraine on global food prices, the UN, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine signed the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement at a ceremony held in Istanbul on July 22, 2022.

The agreement, which was extended for 120 days from 19 November 2022, was extended again on 18 March.

Accordingly, the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement will expire on 18 July.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used the expression, “With the efforts of our country, the support of our Russian friends and the contributions of our Ukrainian friends, it has been decided to extend the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement for another 2 months.”

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