After 100 days of war in Ukraine, 5.2 million children need humanitarian aid

New York / Geneva / Kiev, the 1st June 2022 Ukraine’s 100-day war has had devastating consequences for children on a scale and at a rate not seen since World War II, UNICEF reports today. Three million children in Ukraine and more than 2.2 million children in host countries now need humanitarian aid. Nearly two out of three children have been displaced by the fighting.

According to reports confirmed by OHCHR, on average more than two children and more than three wounded are killed every day in Ukraine. – mostly in explosive weapons attacks in populated areas. Civilian infrastructure on which children depend continues to be damaged or destroyed, including at least 256 health institutions and a safe school out of six, supported by UNICEF, in the eastern part of the country. Hundreds of other schools across the country were also damaged. Conditions for children in eastern and southern Ukraine, where fighting has intensified, are becoming increasingly desperate.

A war that, above all, is an acute crisis for child protection

“June 1 is the International Day for the Protection of Children in Ukraine and the whole region”said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF. Instead of celebrating this occasion, we are solemnly approaching the hundredth day of a war that has shattered the lives of millions of children. Without an urgent ceasefire and negotiated peace, children will continue to suffer – and the fallout from the war will affect vulnerable children around the world. »

UNICEF also warns that the war has caused an acute child protection crisis. Children fleeing violence are at significant risk of family separation, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Most have been exposed to deeply traumatic events. These children have an urgent need for safety, stability, child protection services and psychosocial support, especially those who are unaccompanied or who have been separated from their families. More than anything else, they need peace.

At the same time, war and mass displacement are devastating to livelihoods and economic opportunities, leaving many families without sufficient income to meet basic needs and unable to provide adequate support for their children.

UNICEF calls for an immediate ceasefire

UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and the protection of all children. This includes putting an end to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and attacks on civilian infrastructure. UNICEF calls for full humanitarian access to quickly and safely reach children in need, wherever they are.

UNICEF and its partners are on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries. They strive to provide humanitarian assistance to children and their families, including child protection, water and sanitation, health, nutrition and education.

In Ukraine, UNICEF and partners distributed life-saving medical and health supplies to almost 2.1 million people in war-torn areas ; they provided access to drinking water for more than 2.1 millions of people living in areas where networks have been damaged or destroyed; they provided psychosocial and mental health support to more than 610 000 children and accompanying persons ; and they provided school supplies to nearly 290,000 children. Nearly 300,000 vulnerable families have signed up for a humanitarian cash assistance program from UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Policy.

In refugee countries, UNICEF supports national, municipal and local systems providing essential services and protection, especially for the most vulnerable children. These include training border guards to combat human trafficking, expanding learning opportunities and integrating refugee children into schools, purchasing vaccines and medical supplies, and setting up play and learning centers that give young children a much-needed sense of normalcy and respite. Twenty-five UNICEF and UNHCR Blue Dots – one-stop shelters offering support and services to families on the move – have been established along major transit routes in Moldova, Romania, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria and Slovakia. In Moldova is more than 52 000 Refugees, mostly female-led households, benefited from a multifunctional cash assistance program from UNICEF and UNHCR.

UNICEF appealed to 624.2 million US dollars to support its humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and a fundraising appeal of 324.7 million US dollars for its intervention in countries hosting refugees.

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