Between April 2015 and May 2016 Swiss Humanitarian Aid had already sent four humanitarian transports to the conflict area in Eastern Ukraine. In total almost 2’000 tons of water treatment chemicals and medical supplies were transported to public institutions in Dnipro, Kurakhove and Pokrovsk in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region and to Donetsk city in non-government controlled areas.
The ongoing assistance provided by Switzerland to Vodadonbasa helps ensuring that approximately 3.9 million people in the Donetsk region, on both sides of the line of contact, continue to have access to potable water. Besides special chemicals and sand for drinking water purification transported by railway and road, Switzerland supported Vodadonbasa with a number of devices for chlorine production. All this will help the company ensuring regular water supply for the Ukrainian population of the entire Donetsk region. Swiss Humanitarian Aid agreed with its international partners that this autumn they will provide the branches of Vodadonbasa in government-controlled areas with a similar sand delivery, thereby ensuring that the company is fully supplied.
The latest transport of humanitarian goods was organized with the active support of the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv, in particular the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, and coordinated with interlocutors in non-government controlled areas of Donetsk region. Logistical assistance for the preparation of the shipment was provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other international partner organizations. The transport was organized and accompanied by an expert team of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office and the Embassy of Switzerland in Kyiv.
Switzerland urges all sides to grant humanitarian organizations access to the conflict-affected population and to protect civil infrastructure, in accordance with international humanitarian law. Permanent availability of, and access to basic services has to be ensured, and freedom of movement for civilians within the conflict zone must be improved. Switzerland would welcome more economic and social interaction between actors of both government and non-government controlled areas. Switzerland calls once more on all sides to contribute to a peaceful and lasting resolution of the conflict and an economic and social recovery of the conflict-affected areas of Ukraine.