Statement by Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine

07 May 2021

KYIV, Ukraine. 7 May 2021. UNICEF is deeply saddened to hear of two security incidents this week when shelling affected critical water facilities in conflict-ridden Eastern Ukraine.  These incidents were reported only a week after adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2573 (2021) condemning attacks against essential civilian infrastructure as a violation of international humanitarian law.

On 5 May, four shell strikes hit the territory and buildings of a treated water storage and a pumping facility close to the contact line near Donetsk city, leading to disruptions in water supply.

“I am deeply shocked to hear about this serious incident,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “Clean water is a human right and should not be affected, even during a conflict. When water stops, schools and hospitals cannot function and health risks to children and their families increases significantly.”

In the second incident this week, water supply to 1.1 million people was put in jeopardy when the First Lift Pumping Station of the South Donbas Waterway narrowly avoided heavy shelling on early morning of Thursday, May 6.

“Civilian water workers were terrified by these two incidents,” said Sylwander, “It is not acceptable that innocent civilians are forced to work in these conditions.”

UNICEF is calling for all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law and avoid fighting close to any critical infrastructure supporting essential services to сhildren and families in conflict affected Eastern Ukraine.


Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine


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