Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell on reported attack against maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine

09 March 2022
Ukraine. A small child wearing a hat and jacket looks at the camera.

NEW YORK, 9 March 2022 – “I am horrified by the reported attack today on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine – an attack which reportedly left young children and women in labor buried beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings. We do not yet know the number of casualties but fear the worst.

“This attack, if confirmed, underscores the horrific toll this war is exacting on Ukraine’s children and families. In less than two weeks, at least 37 children have been killed and 50 injured, while more than 1 million children have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries. 

“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools – are unconscionable and must stop immediately. UNICEF renews its call for an immediate cease-fire and urges all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect children from harm, and to ensure that humanitarian actors can safely and quickly reach children in need.

“The children of Ukraine desperately need peace.”  


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