Amid attacks on Ukraine’s energy grids WHO warns of ‘life-threatening’ winter


After a string of devastating Russian attacks on the nation’s energy grid, the World Health Organization issued a warning on Monday that the coming winter would be “life-threatening” for millions of Ukrainians.

During his visit to Kyiv, Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the UN agency for health, said to reporters, “Put simply — this winter will be about survival.”

“This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” Kluge said.

According to Kluge, the numerous missile strikes that damaged Ukraine’s energy infrastructure “are already having knock-out effects on the health system and on the people’s health.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, he claimed, there have been more than 700 attacks on its medical facilities. He cited what he called “a clear violation” of international humanitarian law.

Numerous hospitals and medical facilities no longer function fully as a result of ongoing attacks on the energy and health infrastructure, according to Kluge.

Kluge warned, “We expect two-three million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety. They will face unique health challenges, including respiratory infections such as Covid-19, pneumonia, influenza, and the serious risk of diphtheria and measles in under- vaccinated population.”

(With inputs from AFP)

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