Mar 13, 2022 - World

Red Cross: Mariupol faces a "worst-case scenario" if humanitarian agreement not reached

Kitchen that has been bombed ukraine
View of a damaged room of an apartment building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 12. Photo: Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol face a "worst-case scenario" unless a humanitarian agreement can be brokered, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday.

Driving the news: Mariupol has been under siege by Russian forces and has sustained devastating shelling that has destroyed a children's hospital as well as a local mosque.

  • Conditions in the city have been deteriorating, with food scarce and many without heat, water or electricity. Residents this week began burying their dead in a mass grave.

What they're saying: "Hundreds of thousands of the city's residents are now facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine. People of all ages, including our staff, are sheltering in unheated basements, risking their lives to make short runs outside for food and water," the ICRC said in a statement.

  • "The human suffering is simply immense."
  • "All those participating in the fighting need to agree to the modalities and timing of a ceasefire, the precise locations of the safe passage route, and then ensure that the agreement is respected."
  • "The ICRC stands ready to act as a neutral intermediary to facilitate dialogue on such humanitarian issues."

The bottom line: "Time is running out for the hundreds of thousands trapped by the fighting. History will look back at what is now happening in Mariupol with horror if no agreement is reached by the sides as quickly as possible."

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