Significant increase in number of children killed across Ukraine this year, as deadly attacks continue – UNICEF

25 children were verified as killed in attacks across Ukraine between January and March 2024

26 April 2024

GENEVA/KYIV, 26 April 2024 – The verified number of children killed in attacks across Ukraine has increased by nearly 40 per cent this year compared to last, as deadly attacks continue, UNICEF warned today.

Attacks between 1 January and 31 March 2024 resulted in the deaths of 25 children, according to UN-verified data - the youngest was just two months old. Nine children were reportedly killed in attacks during the first three weeks of April.

“As deadly attacks continue, children and their families are forced to endure yet more loss and destruction,” said Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, as she concluded a visit to Ukraine this week. “Every attack sets back recovery and rebuilding efforts, prolonging the deterioration in children’s quality of life. I am troubled to see that attacks across the country continue, destroying schools, health facilities and residential buildings. Nowhere is safe for children.”

According to official UN data, at least 600 children have been killed in attacks since the escalation of the war in 2022. More than 1,350 children have been injured. The true number of children killed and injured is likely considerably higher.

The infrastructure that children rely on also continues to come under attack. Thousands of homes, 36 health facilities and 140 educational facilities were damaged or destroyed in the first three months of the year. Attacks affecting power supplies and water sources have further disrupted critical services, putting children’s lives and well-being at further risk.

Two years of war preceded by two years of COVID-19 has meant children’s access to schooling has been disrupted for more than four years – years equivalent to a primary education. Nearly half of children enrolled in school in Ukraine are missing out on in-person schooling, with almost one million children across the country not able to access any in-person learning at all due to insecurity.

Amid ongoing attacks, UNICEF is working across Ukraine to preserve learning opportunities for children through rehabilitating schools and shelters, providing at-home learning kits and online learning support. In 2023, UNICEF reached 1.3 million children with formal and non-formal learning.

UNICEF is also delivering mental health and psychosocial support including through safe spaces, protection and support hubs, reaching 2.5 million children and caregivers last year alone.

Together with partners, UNICEF is rebuilding critical water and health infrastructure destroyed or damaged by attacks.

Currently, UNICEF requires an additional $250 million to ensure critical support for children and families inside Ukraine including in frontline areas, for humanitarian and recovery programmes in 2024.

Media contacts

Georgina Diallo
UNICEF Europe and Central Asia
Tel: +41 76 320 68 14
Joe English
Tel: +1 917 893 0692


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