Hans Kluge underlines the risks faced by millions of Ukrainians after the Russian strikes on numerous energy infrastructures, causing difficulties for the country’s hospitals.
The WHO is once again alerting to the situation in Ukraine, as temperatures ostensibly drop and part of the energy infrastructure is destroyed.
Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, described this Tuesday on BFMTV as a “phenomenal threat for Ukrainians” the current situation of the country’s energy infrastructure.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Friday that “half” of Ukraine’s energy system “has been put out of order”. Since October, Russia has targeted these infrastructures in numerous strikes.
“How can hospitals function without energy and without electricity?” asks Hans Kluge on BFMTV. “It’s really a humanitarian disaster,” he also believes.
And to add: “people will die of strokes, heart attacks, acute respiratory infections”.
More than 700 attacks on health establishments
He calls on BFMTV on the international community to provide Ukraine with generators and fuel, and, in the longer term, to “prevent a collapse of public services” with “financial support to pay salaries and medicines”.
According to him, the WHO has recorded more than 700 attacks on Ukrainian health facilities and ambulances since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February, which constitutes “a significant violation” of international humanitarian law.
Mental health and sexual violence
The director of WHO Europe also deplores the lack of access to the territories occupied by Russia, such as those of Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol and calls for a humanitarian corridor to these regions.
He also underlines the impact of the war on the mental health of the country’s inhabitants: “even people in the liberated territories are suspicious when they see a Ukrainian soldier”. The extent of sexual violence suffered by women in Ukraine must also be “studied”, adds the senior WHO official. After collecting testimonies on this subject, the one who is currently in Ukraine believes that “here, it’s horror”.
On Monday, he said winter would threaten the lives of millions of Ukrainians. The damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure “is already having devastating effects on the health system and on the health of the population,” Kluge added.
This means that “hundreds of hospitals and health facilities are no longer fully operational,” he told reporters. “We expect two to three million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety.”
Source: BFM TV