Kyiv, Ukraine, December 5, 2023 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) condemns last night’s devastating rocket attacks on the humanitarian center in Kherson, Ukraine that is operated by Ukrainian organization I am Kherson. Residents of Kherson have endured continuous shelling over the past weeks. Thousands are now left even more vulnerable after the complete destruction of the center and suspension of critical humanitarian activities. With the onset of the harsh winter and lack of heating and electricity, the center was the site of gas stoves and shelter kit distribution. Stockpiles of lifesaving humanitarian aid have been destroyed. Fortunately, no personnel nor visitors were injured in the attack.
Nataliia Humenna, Project Coordinator at I am Kherson, recounted the horrific experience:
"We endured a sleepless night due to the relentless explosions as we witnessed our hub engulfed in flames. At dawn, the devastating aftermath revealed nearly everything reduced to ashes.
“The assault on the humanitarian headquarters is an outrage and an act of inhumanity. I urge the world to recognize the hardship we are compelled to endure and to remain mindful that the war in Ukraine persists."
Nicole Walden, Ukraine's Interim Country Director for the IRC, emphasized the broader context of this ongoing conflict:
"Ukraine continues to suffer from intensified barrages of missile strikes and widespread destruction, and we can expect a further uptick in attacks during the winter as we saw last year. As temperatures plummet, the combination of ongoing conflict, destroyed infrastructure, and harsh weather conditions makes life incredibly brutal for people in affected areas.
“The attack on humanitarian infrastructure is unacceptable and constitutes yet another serious violation of international humanitarian law."
The I am Kherson charitable foundation is dedicated to supporting both internally displaced individuals and residents of Kherson and its surrounding region. The foundation engages in various activities, including the provision of humanitarian aid in the form of food packages, hygiene products, and essential items. Presently, operational hubs are established in Kherson and Zaporizhia.