Far from home, Ukrainian children fear for the future
Children who have been forced to flee their homes because of the war in Ukraine urgently need peace now.
Every day, Ukrainian families with children are forced to flee their homes and the horrors of war – shelling, kidnapping, murder and even rape. Many have been deprived of the most basic necessities, like water, food, light and gas.
Even for those who have found shelter, the challenges are mounting, as many fled families with little to no belongings or resources to help them adapt to their new lives.
Some parents have lost their jobs and income, while others have nowhere to stay due to the high demand for housing in the western regions of the country. Some are raising children as single parents. Some children have been separated from their parents altogether.
All of them need peace now.
Milana is three years old. Before the war, she lived with her father in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine. They were forced to leave their home when Russian troops started to approach the town's borders. Milana and her father are now seeking refuge in Poland.
Lyuba, a single mother with a two-month-old baby, was forced to seek shelter in a damp basement during air raids in Kryvyi Rih. When the fighting moved closer to the city, she grabbed a few bags, wrapped up little Dima and ran for the train. Twelve people travelled with Lyuba in the stuffy compartment for a whole day. Dima slept on a shelf, while Lyuba slept on the floor. Lyuba did not know where she would spend the night, as she had no food, clothes or money, but was relieved that her baby would be safe.
David, 7, and Zlata, 5, lived in the neighbourhood of Nyvky in Kyiv. The siblings fled with their mother to Uzhhorod. The family rented a flat for two weeks, in the hope that the bombing would stop and they could return home. Now, the flat lease is coming to an end but the shelling in Kyiv has not stopped, and the family is looking for a way out of Ukraine.
As of 30 March 2022, two million children have now been forced to flee Ukraine, as the war continues. UNICEF estimates that more than 2.5 million children have been internally displaced within Ukraine. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 100 children have been killed during the conflict and a further 134 children have been injured. The true toll is likely to be much higher.
UNICEF continues to scale up its response inside Ukraine and across refugee-hosting countries. As of 28 March 2022, UNICEF has dispatched 114 trucks carrying 1,275 metric tons of emergency supplies to support children and families in Ukraine and the bordering countries. So far, 63 trucks of supplies have arrived in Ukraine, which will address the needs of over eight million people, including two million children. The supplies include medicines and medical equipment, winter clothes for children, and hygiene, educational, early childhood development and recreational kits. UNICEF has also started a humanitarian cash transfer programme to support 52,000 of the most vulnerable families inside Ukraine.