The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the approach of a “brutal winter” in Ukraine, as continuous Russian missile attacks have caused extensive damage to civilian and health infrastructure.
Hans Kluge, director for Europe at WHO, said in a statement on October 14 that aid to Kiev will continue, as the organization will be active in Ukraine “for a long time.”
Kluge has warned that winter will make survival even more difficult for Ukrainians who are in the war zone, and has called for the immediate repair of health centers destroyed as a result of the Russian attacks. “The main priority is to act on the damage caused to the medical centers as a result of the recent attacks. The WHO has confirmed at least 620 attacks on health centers since the start of the war in February. We need to increase support for the reconstruction process”, said Kluge.
“Many people in Ukraine are living in a precarious situation, moving from one location to another, and living in buildings without access to heating systems,” he warned.
“The destruction of houses and the lack of electricity or energy, due to damaged infrastructure, can become a matter of life and death, if people will not be able to heat their houses”. A WHO official has said that more that 800,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed in Ukraine since the start of the war at the end of February, pushing thousands of people to live in collective centers or damaged buildings.
According to him, collective centers increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus.
“Recent economic analyzes from the World Bank suggest that the war could face 60 percent of the population below the poverty line,” Kluge said, calling for an “urgent roadmap” to expand the provision of health services in the coming months.
The war in Ukraine started on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin calls the war a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine.
The West has responded to Russia, hitting the economy of this country with harsh sanctions. As a result of the war, thousands of people have died and millions more have been displaced from their homes./REL
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