Once again, we are faced with a new conflict that threatens global peace and sustainable development. In these trying times, we urge the international community to uphold, and those involved in the conflict to follow, international humanitarian law.
This includes ensuring the protection of the civilian population, sparing vital infrastructures like homes, schools and medical facilities, and allowing the space for neutral, independent humanitarian action.
It is vital for access to essential medical services to be protected. In recent years, Ukraine made significant strides in strengthening its health system. However, as we are witnessing through our work in Afghanistan, progress years in the making is fragile and can swiftly be undone.
In Ukraine, where we worked with Stop TB Partnership and World Health Organization, this progress has already been under threat: in Donetsk, because of the war that broke out in 2014, there was a threat of a Tuberculosis surge as access to treatment was interrupted. And now, due to the conflict, access to oxygen in parts of Ukraine is reportedly dangerously low.
We must continue to advocate for access to essential health services in conflict-affected settings. KIT is committed to working with our colleagues in the international community who are striving hard to ensure that humanitarian law is upheld and hard-won progress is not derailed.
We also applaud States who are generously welcoming people fleeing Ukraine and urge these States to extend a similar welcome to people displaced from the deadly wars in the Sahel, Middle East, and other conflict-affected states.