Ukraine: UN seeks $4.2 billion for humanitarian aid

The UN has said that some 14.6 million people, 40% of the population, will need humanitarian assistance this year

Zelesnkyy said that Switzerland was providing Ukraine with "not only humanitarian aid but also long-term financial assistance, political support, and sanctions." (photo: DW)
Zelesnkyy said that Switzerland was providing Ukraine with "not only humanitarian aid but also long-term financial assistance, political support, and sanctions." (photo: DW)


Ukraine, Switzerland planning global peace summit

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Swiss counterpart Viola Amherd on Monday, 15 January said they would be organizing a high-level peace summit.

"At the request of the Ukrainian president, Switzerland has agreed to host a summit on the peace formula," the Swiss government said. "Further details are now being worked out."

Zelesnkyy said that Switzerland was providing Ukraine with "not only humanitarian aid but also long-term financial assistance, political support, and sanctions. Today, we discussed a new long-term support program."

Zelenskyy thanked Amherd in a post on X, formerly Twitter, "for agreeing that our teams will begin joint work tomorrow on preparations for the Global Peace Summit at the level of leaders in Switzerland." 

Zelenskyy did not provide a detailed list of the participants of the planned peace summit but appeared to hint who he wanted to attend.

"We are open to all countries that respect our sovereignty and territorial integrity at the peace summit, so draw conclusions about who we invite," Zelenskyy said.

"We would like the Global South to be present ... it is important for us to show that the whole world is against Russia's aggression, and the whole world is for a just peace."

Zelenskyy is visiting Switzerland looking to secure stable support from allies as the war against Russia approaches its second anniversary.

Pyongyang invites Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a visit to neighboring North Korea after an invitation from Pyongyang. 

Moscow turned to the internationally isolated country for support after the West cut ties with Moscow following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

"We hope that the visit goes through and that the Russian president will visit in the foreseeable future," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia last year when he and Puitin are believed to have discussed arms deliveries by Pyongyang to Moscow.

North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui is currently on a three-day trip to Moscow, where she was scheduled to have talks with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Peskov said it was also possible that she might meet Putin.

Some 50 countries recently condemned North Korea's delivery of missiles to Russia and their deployment against Ukraine. 

Russia sentences over 200 Ukrainian prisoners of war

Moscow said on Monday it has sentenced over 200 Ukrainian prisoners of war for "murder" and "mistreating prisoners."

The defendants received lengthy sentences, some amounting to life in prison. 

"More than 200 Ukrainian military personnel have been sentenced to long prison sentences for committing murder of civilians and mistreating prisoners [of war]," Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, told state news outlet RIA Novosti.

Moscow, which is believed to hold thousands of Ukrainian captive soldiers, will "continue" its efforts to prosecute Ukrainian military staff, Bastrykin said, including "high level officials."

He did not specify whether the soldiers were sentenced in Russia or in Moscow-occupied areas of Ukraine, but state-run outlet RT reported that 242 soldiers were sentenced in occupied Ukraine.

UN needs $4.2 billion for Ukraine humanitarian aid

The United Nations needs $4.2 billion (approximately €3.84 billion) to provide humanitarian aid to millions of Ukrainians.

The UN is hoping to reach some 8.5 million within Ukraine and 2.3 million who have fled to eastern Europe.

"A recent wave of attacks underscores the devastating civilian cost of the war, while a bitter winter is ratcheting up the urgent need for life-saving humanitarian aid," the the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN refugee agency said in a joint-statement.

About three-quarters of the total, $3.1 billion, is meant to support some 8.5 million people inside Ukraine. The remaining $1.1 billion is
sought for refugees and host communities outside Ukraine.

Some 40% of Ukraine's population, roughly 14.6 million people, will be in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine this year, the UN said.

"Hundreds of thousands of children live in communities on the front lines of the war, terrified, traumatized and deprived of their basic
needs. That fact alone should compel us to do everything we can to bring more humanitarian assistance to Ukraine," Martin
Griffiths, the UN's humanitarian chief said. 

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Published: 16 Jan 2024, 9:45 AM