Tue. May 30th, 2023

More than half of Ukrainian children were forced to flee their homes due to the war – UNICEF

One month of war in Ukraine displaced 4.3 million children, or more than half of the country’s child population (7.5 million). These numbers include more than 1.8 million children who have moved to neighbouring countries as refugees, as well as 2.5 million who are currently internally displaced within Ukraine.

This was reported by UNICEF.

“The war led to one of the most rapid and large-scale displacements of children since World War II,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director. – This is a sad milestone that could have long-term consequences for future generations. The safety of children, their well-being and access to basic services are all at stake because of the ongoing violence that continues”.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 81 children have been killed and 108 injured in Ukraine since the start of the war on February 24. However, these figures reflect only those cases that the UN has been able to confirm, so the true death toll is probably much higher.

In addition, the war had devastating consequences for civilian infrastructure and access to basic services.

For example, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported 52 attacks on medical facilities across the country in the last four weeks. Approximately 1.4 million people currently do not have access to safe water, and 4.6 million people have limited access to or are at risk of water shortages. More than 450,000 children aged 6 to 23 months need additional nutrition.

UNICEF is already noting a reduction in the coverage of routine and childhood immunisations, including against measles and poliomyelitis. This could soon lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially in overcrowded areas where people seek protection from violence.

“In just a few weeks, the war has devastated the lives of Ukraine’s children, said Russell. – Children urgently need peace and protection. They need their rights. UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire and protection of children from danger. The critical infrastructure on which children depend, including hospitals, schools and shelters for civilians, should never be attacked”.