Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell calling for a suspension of hostilities to carry out urgent humanitarian action in Ukraine

28 February 2022
Crisis in Ukraine
Seven years old David from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, was accompanied across the Romanian border on February 27, 2022, by his grandmother who plans to return to her home, where her husband was forced to remain. David will continue his journey to the Czech Republic, where his parents are living.

NEW YORK, 28 February 2022 – “The situation for children caught up in the conflict in Ukraine grows worse by the minute.

“We are receiving reports of hospitals, schools, water and sanitation facilities and orphanages under fire. Explosive weapons in populated areas and explosive remnants of war are real and present dangers for the children of Ukraine. 

“Children have been killed. Children have been wounded. And children are being profoundly traumatized by the violence all around them. 

“We appeal for a suspension of ongoing military actions in Ukraine. Such a suspension would allow for humanitarian help to reach people cut off after five days of intense airstrikes and fierce ground fighting nationwide. It would also allow families in the worst affected areas to venture out to get food and water, to seek medical care, or to leave in search of safety.

“We renew our call on all parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure – and to abide by all legal and moral obligations to keep children out of the line of fire.   

“We must protect all children in Ukraine. Now. They need peace.”

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