We understand that the safe passage operations from Mariupol and Volnovakha will not start today.
We remain in dialogue with the parties about the safe passage of civilians from different cities affected by the conflict. The scenes in Mariupol and in other cities today are heart-breaking. Any initiative from the parties that gives civilians a respite from the violence and allows them to voluntarily leave for safer areas is welcome.
As a neutral and impartial humanitarian intermediary, we stand ready to help facilitate the safe passage of civilians once the parties have reached an agreement and that its terms are strictly humanitarian for the ICRC to be involved.
So-called humanitarian corridors or other measures aimed at providing respite to those affected by conflict must be well planned and implemented with the agreement of the parties to the conflict.
Regardless of whether humanitarian corridors are implemented in the coming days, parties must continue to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure under international humanitarian law both for those who choose to leave and those who remain.
ICRC's space for neutral humanitarian action must be protected and respected, and the parties must facilitate sustained humanitarian access and operations.
Note to editors: We do not have any spokespeople available for this today and cannot facilitate interviews with people on the ground in these locations.
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