We are deeply concerned by the decision by the de-facto authorities in Luhansk to order international humanitarian agencies, including the ones from the UN, to end operations and leave the Luhansk area by today, 25 September. The denial of humanitarian access is a violation of international humanitarian law.
Furthermore, the move contradicts the Minsk agreement – point seven of the agreement, signed on 12 February 2015, reads: “Ensure safe access, delivery, storage and distribution of humanitarian aid among those who need it on the basis of an international mechanism.”
The suspension of almost all humanitarian programmes in Luhansk and Donetsk since mid-July is putting lives at risk and preventing the most vulnerable, including children, women and the elderly, from accessing basic services. At present, 16,000 tonnes of humanitarian assistance cannot be delivered. This is having a serious impact on some 3 million people as winter approaches.
We call on those responsible to ensure and facilitate the immediate resumption of urgently needed humanitarian activities by international humanitarian agencies.