Luhansk, August 6: For the first time in five months, convoys from the United Nations refugee agency have reached non-Government controlled areas in Luhansk, in the easternmost part of Ukraine, carrying much- needed construction materials, kitchen sets and items for use in winter for thousands of people affected by the conflict.
“Two separate convoys of 25-trucks each travelled with support from WFP (the UN World Food Programme) and local partners to deliver supplies that will enable UNHCR to expand its shelter programme in the region,” William Spindler told journalists today at a regular press briefing in Geneva. They have to wait for long hours, without shelter or adequate sanitation to cross check points to reach the Government-controlled areas as payment of social benefits and pensions to Internally Displaced Persons have been suspended until their residential addresses have been verified.
“UNHCR renews its call to all actors to guarantee unrestricted access to benefits and rights to all displaced persons, regardless of registration status or current place of residence,” stressed the agency spokesperson. In the Luhansk region, only one pedestrian checkpoint in Stanitsa Luhanskaya remains open, with people queuing up to eight hours to cross.