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Ukraine: UN reports humanitarian situation still dire amid sporadic fighting

Ukraine: UN reports humanitarian situation still dire amid sporadic fighting

India Blooms News Service | | 27 May 2015, 08:37 am
New York, May 27 (IBNS): The tenuous situation in eastern Ukraine continues to be marked by sporadic fighting and a crippling humanitarian crisis forcing many civilians to seek refuge in underground shelters or in neighbouring countries, the United Nations relief arm confirmed on Tuesday.

In its latest situation report on the Ukraine crisis, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) painted a stark portrait of daily life in the country’s conflict-affected areas amid reports of ongoing hostilities at Donetsk airport, as well as in the towns of Shyrokyne, Avdiivka and Shastia.

Meanwhile, casualties are also being reported daily. According to OCHA, between mid-April 2014 and 14 May 2015, at least 6,334 people have been documented as killed and 15,752 as wounded while unexploded ordinance and landmines pose a continuing threat to civilian lives.

Against that backdrop, the Ministry of Social Policy has registered some 1.3 million people as internally displaced – an increase of about 44,000 people in the past three weeks alone – while the exodus from the country is also on the rise.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that about 857,000 Ukrainians have sought asylum, residence permits or other forms of legal stay in neighbouring countries – an increase of about 23,000 people in the past two weeks.

Life in the embattled provinces of eastern Ukraine is also precarious from a healthcare standpoint as services are increasingly curtailed due to lack of medicine and medical equipment.

Access to healthcare is severely constrained across the east and in non-Government controlled areas in particular, because of lack of medicine and medical equipment. OCHA added that there is an increased burden on healthcare facilities particularly due to the influx of displaced families.

Photo: UNICEF Ukraine/Pavel Zmey

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm