Half of Ukraine’s children displaced: ‘A grim milestone’
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The 4.3 million figure represents more than 1.8 million refugee children who have crossed into neighboring countries and 2.5 million children who are internally displaced within Ukraine.
A local police officer assists a Ukrainian refugee girl, who was apparently separated from her mother at the Moldova- Ukraine border.
( Siegfried Modola/ UNICEF)
“The war has caused one of the fastest largescale displacements of children since World War II,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a Thursday statement. “This is a terrible milestone that could have long-lasting consequences for generations to follow. Non-stop, horrific violence is threatening children’s safety, well-being and access to essential services. “
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that 81 children have been killed and 108 have been injured since Russian military forces invaded on Feb. 24., though that figure may be higher.
The Lviv Regional Children’s Specialized Clinical Hospital caters to children with cancer and other illnesses who have fled other parts of the country in search of safety and treatment.
(Viktor Moskaliuk/ UNICEF)
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that Russian forces have executed 52 attacks against Ukrainian health care facilities over the last four weeks, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science estimates damage to more than 500 education facilities. More than 450,000 Ukrainian children are in need of food and other support, according to UNICEF.
“In just a few weeks, the war has wrought such devastation for Ukraine’s children,” said Russell. “Children need protection and peace urgently. They deserve their rights. UNICEF appeals for an immediate ceasefire and protection of children from harm. Children’s infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and sheltering civilians, must not be attacked. “
Empty strollers were placed in neat rows at the central square in Lviv, Ukraine, March 17, to symbolize children killed in the ongoing war.
(Aleksey Filippov/ UNICEF)
UNICEF has so far delivered medical supplies and other necessities to 49 hospitals in nine regions across Ukraine, benefiting some 400,000 people.
More than 3.6 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Feb. 24, with most fleeing to Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary and Russia.
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