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

01 March 2022

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.”

Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10


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