UN fact-finding mission visits the flooded regions

17:01, 06 August 2008
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UN Resident Coordinator has left Kyiv for Ivano-Frankivsk

On Wednesday, August 6, the UN fact-finding mission led by Francis O`Donnell, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, has left Kyiv for Ivano-Frankivsk. According to the UN Office in Ukraine, on 7-8 August 2008 the UN team including Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, and experts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will assess the current humanitarian situation and medium and long-term recovery needs.

It is planned that the UN delegation members will meet with the local authorities and the people affected by the recent floods in the villages of Nadvirna, Bytkiv, Zelena, Maksymets and Bystrytsia.

Earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) deployed a mission jointly with MSF-Belgium to conduct an assessment of the health situation in the affected areas. The mission also included the International Organization for Migration (IOM) expert who assessed shelter and non-food aid.

Earlier this day, the joint consultations on international response to the recent flood emergency in Ukraine took place in the UN House under the auspices of the UN Resident Coordinator. It was addressed by the representatives of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by representatives of several donor countries including Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Swedish SIDA and Canadian CIDA as well as UN agencies. The meeting also heard the presentations by the WHO, IOM, IFRC on the results of their recent field assessment missions to Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi. The Ministry of Emergency of Ukraine has shared an updated list of needs for international assistance.      

As reported earlier, Ukraine submitted to the UN and donor countries an earlier list of specific needs and aid volumes, which are necessary to address the flood consequences in Western Ukraine.

On 1 August 2008 Ukraine`s acting permanent representative to the UN Viktor KRYZHANIVSKIY handed over this list to Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John HOLMES. During the meeting, it was emphasized that Ukraine does count on the UN assistance and Under-Secretary-General HOLMES stated that UN is ready to support the relief effort in Ukraine. He also noted that the assistance will be led by the UN office in Ukraine in close cooperation with the representatives of EC, NATO and other international organizations and countries.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) heavy rains and storms in the Central and Eastern Europe, which started on 22-23 July resulted in rising high waters of the Rivers Dnistr and Prut, leading to serious floods in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. As a result of the natural disaster 42 people are reported killed.

These serious floods have affected 6 regions (oblasts) in Western Ukraine - Lviv, Zakarpattya, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Vinytsia. The total losses in the western regions of Ukraine are estimated at approximate UAH 3-4 billion.  A total of 523 Ukrainian settlements and over 24,000 hectares of farmland have been flooded. In Ukraine 360 bridges and 560 footbridges have been damaged.

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