UKRAINE: All parties must protect civilians The European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, made the following statement:
"I am gravely concerned by recent developments in the eastern region of Ukraine, especially when innocent civilians, including women and children, are caught in crossfire and pay with their lives.
I welcome all efforts to resolve the conflict using political and diplomatic channels and we all hope that the violence will soon end.
While these efforts are paramount I want to stress that all parties must do everything possible to protect civilians and, as part of this, to let humanitarians – particularly medical staff - perform their roles and do their jobs.
Giving assistance to people in need must be guided solely by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and non-discrimination."
The European Commission Humanitarian and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has been present in Ukraine since February. ECHO's humanitarian experts have been closely monitoring the humanitarian situation and coordinating with humanitarian partners throughout the country.
ECHO is providing €374,000 of assistance, corresponding to more than a third of the Ukraine appeals of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). This support is used to strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian Red Cross and to provide first aid and relief supplies.
The European Commission stands ready to scale up its assistance in case of further deterioration and increasing humanitarian needs. EU's humanitarian assistance is based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.