Remarks at a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Virtual Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in Ukraine

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
April 13, 2022


Good morning, Martin. And hello to everyone. Thank you very much, Martin, to yourself, and to Amin and Markus, for the information that has been shared today.

Martin, I was so struck by your description of your travels and your use of the term “horror” to describe what you saw. That should remain, I think, front and center in our minds. And also by the very painful statistics shared by our colleague from Ukraine.

First off, let me say deep words of appreciation from our side to the UN and NGO staff, who are putting themselves at great risk every day, literally in the line of fire. We also extend heartfelt condolences to Caritas International, whose staff members were tragically killed in Mariupol recently.

The United States remains deeply concerned by the impact of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and its disastrous consequences for ordinary Ukrainians.

The Security Council just held a meeting to shed light on the specific vulnerabilities women and children have in any conflict, and this war of course is no exception. As we clearly heard from the UN and CSO representatives at that briefing, women in Ukraine are at extreme risk for gender-based violence including rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.

We call on – very importantly – all humanitarian actors, donors, other Member States, to prioritize interventions that prevent gender-based violence and support survivors. For our part, the United States-funded humanitarian efforts in and around Ukraine support networks for survivors of gender-based violence and support programs for child protection.

We are also deeply concerned by how limited humanitarian access remains, especially in the east of Ukraine. We are glad that four convoys have reached besieged areas, but convoys are never, never, enough. Unimpeded access for humanitarian actors and for civilians to move freely to a destination of their choice must be established. We call on the Russian Federation to allow such access and movement immediately.

Finally, we are very concerned that Russia’s war is taking staple commodities off world markets, restricting trade routes, destroying agricultural and transportation infrastructure in Ukraine, and contributing to increases in already high global prices of food and agricultural goods.

For our part, in addition to the nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance we have contributed, President Biden announced that the United States is prepared to provide more than $1 billion in new funding toward humanitarian assistance for those affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The United States will also invest more than $11 billion over the next three years, subject to Congressional appropriation, to tackle food security threats and malnutrition across the globe.

Martin, I know you are going to be launching soon a revised UN appeal. We urge all donors to respond generously. We will certainly be looking at it very carefully ourselves.

Thank you very much for the information shared this morning.