Ukraine: The devastating effects of war on children

New York, June 14, 2022 – I spent the last week in Ukraine, where I met with children and families affected by the war, where I saw the importance of UNICEF’s humanitarian response, and where I met with authorities, my colleagues at the UN and partner organizations.

I was able to travel to Kyiv, Irpin, Bucha, Zaitomi and Lviv, and my time in the country gave me a clear idea of ​​the enormous impact that the war in Ukraine is having on children inside and outside the country. ; Both in the region and around the world.

The numbers are wonderful and repetitive. About two-thirds of children in Ukraine are displaced – whether they are internally displaced or have crossed the border as refugees. Children are forced to leave their homes, friends, toys and valuables, family members and face future uncertainties. This instability robs children of their future – trauma and fear can have a lasting effect on children’s physical and mental health.

According to the latest statistics from our colleagues at OHCHR, 277 Children killed and 456 Other injured, Mainly due to the use of explosives in urban areas. This use of explosives in populated areas and attacks on civilian infrastructure must be stopped. It kills and maims children and prevents them from returning to their normal lives in their hometowns.

At least 256 One of the six UNICEF-backed “safe schools” in the country was damaged or destroyed in the attack on healthcare facilities.

More than one million people no longer have access to running water

We are increasingly concerned about the situation of access to drinking water, aWith at least 1.4 Millions of people in the eastern part of the country have no access to running water.

These figures show that the war in Ukraine is a child rights crisis, and that UNICEF is working to support children and families wherever they may be. This vital role of UNICEF in Ukraine is reflected in the recent agreement with the government to extend the UNICEF Country Program. 2023, as part of the transformation of the United Nations.

After more than three-and-a-half months of fighting, UNICEF and its partners are taking stock of the humanitarian response provided so far and directing efforts in areas most needed for the next period. We have been to Ukraine for 1997 and continued to escalate the conflict to provide support and protection to the lives of children and families. To date, UNICEF has provided more than 2 Millions of people with access to medical supplies and clean water. More than 600 000 Children and caregivers have received psychosocial and mental health support and more than 180 000 Children participate in formal and community education activities.

Partners on both sides of our border are working to get the information and life-saving supplies and services children need. As we approach war, we have activated a pre-war response mission that has enabled us to help more than 100 families. Shelter near the front line and in a hard place within reach. However, despite intensive efforts to ensure safe, speedy and uninterrupted human access, Significant challenges remain in the most vulnerable areas of the country, and we call for safe and unhindered access to children wherever they may be.

In the center of the country and in the west, where the situation is a little more stable now, we are supporting and strengthening all the services and local authorities that we already have, such as local authorities and NGOs. An example is “Spilno Child Spot”. – A place where parents and their children can access support services, including therapy and psychosocial support, get supplies and information, and sit down with other parents to give their children a safe and normal play and get brief relief and peer support. I saw the need for this support at a Spilno center in Booker, where staff estimated that half of the participating children needed some form of psychosocial support.

More than 2000 returned to school Children compromise by conflict

In Irpin, I visited two schools damaged in the fighting, which almost endangered education 2 000 Children at the start of the school year in September. Although we do not have verified statistics on the number of affected schools in the country, this number is probably in the thousands. School repairs are a priority for UNICEF and the government, so that children can return to safe, mixed education in September.

Thanks to the generous support of governments, businesses and individuals, we can continue this work across the country and the region, including the transfer of humanitarian cash to high-risk families.

In the end, as important as this work is, children need peace.

UNICEF calls for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and protection of all children Every day this war continues to have a lasting and devastating effect on children, in Ukraine, in the region and around the world. A

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