Nearly 2,000 children killed or injured since the escalation of war in Ukraine

Statement by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe Regina De Dominicis

13 May 2024
A playground, damaged by shelling, Izium, Kharkivska Oblast, Ukraine October 29, 2023.
FILE PHOTO: A playground, damaged by shelling, Izium, Kharkivska Oblast, Ukraine October 29, 2023.

GENEVA 13 May 2024 – “At least 1,993 children in Ukraine have been killed or injured since the escalation of war more than two years ago, an average of two child casualties each day. These are the figures the UN has been able to verify. We know the true number is likely much higher.

“As we see in all wars, the reckless decisions and actions of adults are costing children their lives, safety and futures. “Beyond the killings of children and the physical harm caused by the attacks, many children across Ukraine have experienced levels of loss and violence harmful to their mental health and well-being. Half of young teenagers report having trouble sleeping, and 1 in 5 have intrusive thoughts and flashbacks.

“Next month, another school year will draw to a close, marking the fourth year of disrupted 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.

“UNICEF is working across Ukraine to rehabilitate schools and shelters and provide at-home learning kits and online learning support to children. Last year alone we reached 1.3 million children with formal and non-formal learning opportunities and 2.5 million children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support services.

“UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and for all children to be protected from harm. This includes ending the brutal use of explosive weapons in populated areas and attacks on civilian facilities and infrastructure which disproportionally harm children.

“Ukraine’s children urgently need safety, stability, access to safe learning, child protection services, and psychosocial support.

“More than anything, Ukraine’s children need peace.”

Media contacts

Joe English
Tel: +1 917 893 0692
Georgina Diallo
UNICEF Europe and Central Asia
Tel: +1 917 238 1559

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