WFP resumes aid to Ukraine's Donetsk after being blocked for months

20th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

The UN World Food Programme said Tuesday it had delivered desperately-needed aid to Ukraine's pro-Russian breakaway region of Donetsk for the first time since its activities there were blocked three months ago.

The UN food agency said two convoys of trucks carrying enough food for nearly 16,000 people for one month had reached Donetsk over the past five days.

Spokeswoman Bettina Luetscher told reporters it marked the first deliveries to the area "since July, when all the humanitarian aid was suspended" to areas not under the control of the Ukrainian government.

Since July, she said, WFP had "been ready and standing by to help."

WFP said it had continued providing food assistance to people in government-controlled parts of Donetsk and its sister rebel region of Lugansk over the last three months, including areas near the frontline.

Reaching non-government-controlled areas "is really a very important and welcome step," Luetscher said.

WFP said the food assistance would go to the most vulnerable, including the many displaced by the conflict.

"More convoys bringing food are being planned so that the total number of vulnerable people to receive assistance will be 20,000," it said in a statement.

"As another harsh winter approaches, the humanitarian community is concerned about the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially those who had to flee their homes," it warned in a statement.

The 18-month conflict has killed more than 8,000 people and displaced around 1.5 million people.

© 2015 AFP

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