Charity urges speed on setting up safe and legal routes for Ukrainian refugees

International development charity, Christian Aid, is calling on the UK Government to move “further and faster to set up safe and legal routes” for people fleeing Ukraine amidst reports many have been turned back due to issues with paperwork.

Christian Aid’s interim chief executive, Patrick Watt, has also reiterated calls on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law, by protecting civilians and key services, and including mutually agreed and safe humanitarian corridors.

The charity, which has launched an appeal with the Disasters Emergency Committee, is working with partner organisations through the ACT Alliance to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

One of their partners, Hungarian Inter Church Aid (HIA), has sent food and other essentials to Transcarpathia in Ukraine. HIA has also scaled up a field office in Beregovo including providing tents, mobile toilets and blankets, to support tens of thousands of refugees.

Christian Aid’s interim chief executive, Patrick Watt, said: “The war in Ukraine is robbing innocent people of their lives and tearing families apart. When vulnerable people have come to us seeking sanctuary, paperwork shouldn’t be a barrier.

“The UK Government must move further and faster to set up safe and legal routes. That means keeping pace with the EU and allowing Ukrainians to enter visa free.

“With reports of over two million people now fleeing Ukraine, impartial principled humanitarian assistance is more urgent than ever.

“All parties must abide by international humanitarian law and unconditionally commit to protect civilians and key services, starting with mutually agreed safe humanitarian corridors.

”The Ukrainian people need peace. For that to happen, both sides must agree to a ceasefire, and Russia must withdraw its troops.