A new team of staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will arrive in Mariupol as soon as safe access to the city becomes possible, President of the international humanitarian organization Peter Maurer said.
Maurer said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine and the Ukraine 24 TV channel that their team left Mariupol together with thousands of other residents, since their employees could not move and work in those specific conditions (blockade and shelling). But they have prepared humanitarian aid and a new team, which, as soon as there is a possibility of safe access to the city will come and take the place of the employees who left the city.
Answering the question whether humanitarian mission personnel have access to Ukrainian cities and towns that have now come under the temporary control of the Russian army, he said that in the context of hostilities, the ICRC has not yet had the opportunity to expand its activities, but over time, the organization would like to be present in all territories of Ukraine, no matter who controls them.
Maurer also clarified that due to the unstable situation in the country, no new ICRC offices and representations are currently opening.
Maurer said they send their people to where there is such an opportunity. For example, Odesa. They live in a hotel. They adapt to the development of the situation. Now Red Cross employees are present in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Severodonetsk, Poltava, Dnipro and Kamianets-Podilsky. Also, part of the representatives, as in the past eight years, are in Donetsk and Luhansk in order to provide for the humanitarian needs of the local population, he said.