The World Health Organization (WHO) has released $3.5 million (R53.8m) worth of emergency funds to Ukraine to purchase urgent medical supplies.
WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the support comes from the Contingency Fund for Emergencies to assist the health-care system of Ukraine in the escalating crisis.
“Maximum care must be taken by all parties to ensure that health facilities, workers, patients, transport, and supplies are not targeted.
“The health system must continue to function to deliver essential care to people for all health issues, from Covid-19 to cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis, to mental health issues, especially for vulnerable groups such as older persons and migrants,” he said in a statement.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military operation in Ukraine on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in an address on Friday, that 137 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded.
The South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation has called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his Intergovernmental National Litigation Forum address that the UN Security Council should be tasked with maintaining international peace and security.
“The UN should be getting more engaged in a mediation process. It is this that I believe should happen to bring the hostilities to an end. It is not necessary for people to die when the option of mediation and negotiation and engagement is available,” he said.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that the members will scale up its humanitarian operations in and around Ukraine.
“Today I am announcing that we will immediately allocate $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet urgent needs. The UN and its humanitarian partners are committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need,” he said.