Ukraine, Unicef: 277 children killed and another 456 injured

The report by Afshan Khan, Director of Europe and Central Asia. “Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children are displaced. Stop immediately the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and the attacks on civilian infrastructure.”

ROME – “I spent last week in Ukraine, where I met children and families affected by the war, saw the important humanitarian response from UNICEF and met the authorities, UN colleagues and partner organizations. I was able to visit Kiev, Irpin , Bucha, Zhytomyr and Lviv e my time in the country gave me a clear insight into the enormous impact the war in Ukraine continues to have on childrenboth inside and outside the country, both in the region and around the world. “This is what he declares Afshan KhanUNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

“The figures are worrying and need to be repeated,” the KhanAlmost 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 home, friends, toys and 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 on health facilities and one in six UNICEF-supported ‘safe schools’ in the east of the country have been damaged or destroyed– explains Khan- We are increasingly concerned about the situation of access todrinking 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 children’s rights, and UNICEF is working to support children and families, no matter where 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,” Khan stressed, “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 we have remained behind the escalation of the conflict to provide support and protect the lives of children and families. 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 local learning activities. “

“We have partners on both sides of the contact line who work to reach children with vital information and life-saving supplies and services – explains UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia – 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, but despite intensive efforts to ensure safe, rapid and unhealthy 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 parts of the country, where the situation is currently more stable, we provide support and strengthen existing services”.

“An example is Spilno (Together) Child Spots – continues UNICEF’s regional director for Europe and Central Asia – places where parents and their children can access support services, including therapies and psychosocial support, get help and information and have the opportunity to let their children play in a safe and normal way while sitting with other parents and obtain a short relief and guided support among peers.I could see how basic this support is in a Spilno center in Bucha, where the staff estimated that half of the children present needed some form of psychosocial support. “

“In Irpin,” said Khan, “I visited two schools damaged by the fighting, which put the education of nearly 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 number of schools is likely to be a priority for UNICEF and the government so that children can return to learning safely in September, thanks to the generous support of governments, companies and We can continue this work on across the country and in the region, including humanitarian cash transfers to the most vulnerable families.In the end, 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. For each day that this war continues, the devastating and long-lasting impact on children is increasing, in Ukraine, in the region and around the world, “concludes Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

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