277 children killed in war and 456 wounded

© UNICEF / UN0633056 / Latayko

“I spent last week in Ukraine, meeting with war-affected children and families, see UNICEF’s important humanitarian efforts and meeting with authorities, UN colleagues and partner organizations. I was able to visit Kiev, Irpin, Bucha, Zhytomyr and Lviv and my time in the country gave me a clear vision of the enormous impact that the war in Ukraine continues to have on children, both inside and outside the country, both in the region and around the world ”. Like this Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asiain a press release on the situation of minors in Ukraine 112 days after the start of the Russian invasion.

Unicef: “Nearly two thirds of Ukrainian children displaced”

“The numbers are staggering and need to be repeated,” Khan continues. “Almost two-thirds of Ukrainian children are displaced both those displaced within the country and those who fled across the border as refugees. Children forced to leave their homes, friends, toys and their loved ones, family members and face uncertainty about the future. This instability deprives children of their future: trauma and fear can have a lasting impact on children’s physical and mental health ”.

“According to the latest data provided by OHCHR colleagues, 277 children were killed and a further 456 were injured, mainly due to the use of explosives in built-up urban areas. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas and attacks on civilian infrastructure must be stopped. This kills and maims the children and prevents them from returning to a normal life in the cities that host them ”.

“At least 256 attacks a health facilities and one in six UNICEF-supported “safe schools” in the eastern part of the country has been damaged or destroyed. We are increasingly concerned about the situation with access to drinking water: at least 1.4 million people in the eastern part of the country do not have access to running water ”.

“As these figures show, the war in Ukraine is a crisis for the rights of the child and UNICEF works to support children and families wherever they are in the country. UNICEF’s fundamental role in Ukraine is reflected in the recent agreement reached with the government to extend the UNICEF program in the country until the end of 2023, as part of the UN Transitional Framework.

“After more than three and a half months of war, UNICEF and its partners are taking stock of the humanitarian efforts made so far and will focus their efforts in the next period on the areas most in need. We have been present in Ukraine since 1997 and have been during the escalation of the conflict to provide support and protect the lives of children and families. “.

“To date, UNICEF reached over 2 million people with sanitary supplies and access to clean water. More than 600,000 children and caregivers have received psychosocial and mental health support, and more than 180,000 children have been involved in formal and societal learning activities ”.

“We have partners on both sides of the contact line who are working to reach children with vital information and life-saving supplies and services. We have activated rapid response missions in the eastern part of the country, closer to the fighting, and as a result we have helped families in over 100 shelters near the front lines and in hard to reach places. However, despite intense efforts to ensure safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access, there are still significant challenges in the most affected areas of the country and we continue to ask for safe and unhindered access to reach children wherever they are. ”

“In the central and western areas of the country, where the situation is currently more stable, we provide support and strengthen the services that are already present. An example is Spilno (Together) Child spots, places where parents and their children can access support services, including therapy and psychosocial support, get help and information and have the opportunity to get their children to play safely and normally while sitting with other parents, get a card respite and guided support between kl. peers. I was able to see how basic this support is in a Spilno center in Bucha, where staff estimated that half of the children present needed some form of psychosocial support ”.

Khan: “Children need peace”

“In Irpin – Khan continues – I visited two schools that were damaged by the fighting, putting the education of almost 2,000 children at risk when the new school year begins in September. Although we do not have verified data on the number of damaged schools in the country, the number is likely to be in the thousands. Repairing schools is a priority for UNICEF and the government so that children can return to learning safely in September ”.

“Thanks to the generous support of governments, businesses and individuals, we can continue this work across the country and in the region, including humanitarian cash transfers to the most vulnerable families. Ultimately, no matter how important this work is, children need peace. UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and to protect all children from violence. Every day, this war continues – Khan concludes – the devastating and long-lasting impact on children is increasing, in Ukraine, in the region and throughout the world.

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