17 July 2012
The International Organization for Migration assisted 54 stranded Ukrainian women and children to escape the conflict in Syria as of mid-July. Travel arrangements for a further 27 are in the pipeline. The IOM Mission and Ukrainian Embassy in Damascus are working to return them to Ukraine as soon as possible.
A number of states have asked IOM to help their vulnerable stranded nationals in Syria. ?Over 600 people, including the Ukrainians, were assisted so far,? says IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.
Ukraine?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says that about 5,000 Ukrainian citizens were still in Syria at the beginning of July. ?We are doing our best to assist those who are willing to return, and are grateful to IOM for its help in moving Ukrainians, especially Ukrainian women, out of Syria,? says Head of the MFA Directorate General for Information Policy Oleh Voloshyn.
Last year IOM assisted in evacuation of a number of Ukrainians from Libya.
The violence in Syria that started in 2011 has already taken 15,000 lives according to UN estimates.
Pictured: IOM Ukraine staff meets Ukrainian returnees from Syria on arrival in Kyiv
Read more: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/feature-stories/featureArticleEU/cache/offonce/lang/en?entryId=32033