Ukraine witnessing increasing impact of attacks on health and education

Joint statement by Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine, and Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative to Ukraine

07 February 2024

Kyiv, 7 February 2024 — “We are deeply concerned about the recent drastic increase in attacks impacting civilians and civilian objects across Ukraine, in particular health and education facilities.

“Deadly attacks have continued unabated as the full-scale war reaches the end of its second year. Since February 2022, WHO has documented 1552 attacks on health, impacting health providers, supplies, facilities, warehouses and transport, including ambulances. They have claimed at least 112 lives, including health-care workers and patients, and injured many more. These attacks have reportedly damaged or destroyed more than 3800 schools in Ukraine, according to the government.

“These attacks have endangered the lives of children, health-care workers and civilians. They have disrupted access to critical health services and education for thousands, often in areas heavily affected by the war with an already vulnerable population, which includes the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

“Attacks on schools and hospitals and other civilian infrastructure are unacceptable and may be a violation of international humanitarian law.

“The right to medical services and education, especially during times of crisis, must never be denied. Disrupted access to health care increases the risk of illness or death. Disrupted access to education affects the development and well-being of children, placing their future at risk.

“Schools, health facilities and civilians must always be protected to ensure uninterrupted delivery of health and education services to all people in Ukraine. Attacks on civilians and civilian objects must stop. International humanitarian and human rights law must be respected.”

Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine

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