Blocking cities is “unacceptable in the 21st century,” an official with the World Food Programme has said
FILE PHOTO. © AFP / Alberto Pizzoli
Aid agencies are struggling to reach civilians in Ukrainian cities blocked by the Russian military, Jakob Kern, an emergency coordinator with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Saturday.
“The challenge is to get to the cities that are encircled or about to be encircled,” Kern told the news agency AFP, describing the humanitarian situation on the ground as “dire.”
Ukraine’s food supply chain has effectively been broken amid the ongoing conflict, he said, with the WFP having to stock its warehouses “from zero.” He condemned what he described as Russia’s tactic of blocking cities, stating that it was “unacceptable in the 21st century.”
“The closer you go to these cities, the more worried [truck drivers] are about their safety,” Kern said. “And that means we’re not able to reach people in Mariupol, Sumy, Kharkiv… in the cities that are almost encircled by now – or completely, in the case of Mariupol.”