Two UN agencies on Friday called for “urgent action” to help and protect about 1,000 seamen on merchant ships stranded in Ukrainian ports and waters since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The heads of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said more than 100 merchant ships are unable to leave Ukrainian ports and waters.
They sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders asking for “urgent action” to help resupply the ships.
“In addition to the dangers posed by bombing, many of the ships involved are now short of food, fuel, fresh water and other essential supplies,” the appeal said.
As a result, the situation of seafarers from many countries is becoming increasingly untenable, posing serious risks to their health and well-being.
The IOM said at least 1,000 sailors were stranded, including in the besieged port of Mariupol, and on ships in the Sea of Azov.
In March, the ILO governing body called on Russia to “immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression” against Ukraine, which it invaded on February 24.
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