The United Nations Security Council met for an emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Monday, regarding the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Martin Griffiths, the Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, announced at least 406 civilians have died in Ukraine, and more than half a million refugees have fled the country in search of safety.
Griffiths expects the economy of Ukraine to “implode”, with effects going beyond the country’s borders.
Griffiths said the UN has expanded its humanitarian presence in Ukraine, admitting that the UN had been preparing for this crisis for some time.
The Secretary-General and other countries called for the protection of humanitarian workers in the country, even during the peak of conflict.
“For the last three days, however, the movements of our dear colleagues in Ukraine have seriously been constrained” due to conflict, Griffiths said.
Mexico and France’s ambassadors announced they have drafted a resolution asking for the protection of humanitarian workers in Ukraine.
In addition to protecting humanitarian workers, Griffiths also called for a Flash Appeal to cover the first three months of the humanitarian response across Ukraine, a regional response plan and called on member states for “quick, generous and flexible funding” to help the country.
The ambassador to Kenya, Martin Kimani, brought up the racist treatment of Africans fleeing Ukraine.
“We strongly condemn this racism and believe it is extremely damaging to the message of solidarity,” Kimani said.
In recent days, there have been reports of African refugees being told to turn around, sometimes even being chased away when they reach different European borders.
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has recently denounced these acts of racism, tweeting, “All who flee a conflict situation have the same right to safe passage under UN Convention and the colour of their passport or their skin should make no difference.”
Monday’s meeting was the 11th time since 1950 that the General Assembly met for an emergency session.