President Peter Maurer, Kyiv, Ukraine March 2022

President of the International Committee of the Red Cross arrives in Ukraine

News release 16 March 2022 Ukraine

Geneva (ICRC) - Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is in Kyiv, Ukraine on a planned five-day visit to call for greater humanitarian access and urge greater protection of civilians to alleviate the growing suffering.

Mr Maurer traveled to the country to see the challenges facing civilians affected by the conflict, to meet with members of Ukraine's government, and to see how the ICRC can further expand its neutral and impartial humanitarian work. That includes ICRC's efforts to provide food assistance, medical supplies and needed household items to civilians fleeing the fighting.

"After enormous suffering by the civilian population and after our intensive virtual conversations with the Russian and Ukraine governments, I find it utterly important that we have person-to-person contacts, that we are able to go in-depth into the understanding of neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian work, and that our licence to operate in the country is fully understood by the authorities," said Mr Maurer.

The ICRC is seeking to increase the respect of international humanitarian law, as well as the understanding of ICRC's role in visiting prisoners of war, detainees, the respectful management of dead bodies, and the protection of those who are no longer actively taking part in the fighting. Mr Maurer also planned to highlight the assistance the ICRC can bring to civilians in difficult-to-reach areas between frontlines. He also planned to meet with staff from the ICRC and the Ukraine Red Cross Society who are supporting the humanitarian effort.

Mr Maurer also continues his regular humanitarian dialogue with the parties to the conflict.