UNHCR Criticized over Ukraine War Response

Ukrainian politicians criticized the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for its unpreparedness over the war in Ukraine.

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said that UN’s refugee agency seemed disoriented. 

Serhiy Kiral, deputy of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, said that UNHCR had prioritized evacuating their staff and called themselves refugees.

Kiral added that despite Ukraine’s call for help, UNHCR has not fulfilled its promises and commitments.

“As far as the major ones like [the] UN refugee agency, it took us a week probably to get through to the leadership just to find a person to talk to. Then another week there was the head of the Ukraine country office here meeting the mayor and the deputy mayor talking about the needs and we have laid out what we need, like, you know, humanitarian aid, foodstuffs … there were a lot of promises and commitments and then all the way up till today, nothing is happening,” Kiral said.

A spokesperson of UNHCR admitted that the agency prioritizes the safety of its staff, but UNHCR has not reduced its presence in Ukraine.

UNHCR has recorded Sunday 3,866,224 refugees fleeing Ukraine since February 24, 2022.

Vereshchuk reported Sunday that there were 1,000 additional refugees evacuated as corridors were held for Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“Also, 15 buses arrived today at the checkpoint at the entrance to Berdyansk, and tomorrow morning they are to be delivered to the evacuation meeting point: 27 Melitopolske street, near the city sports complex,” Vereshchuk  said.

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