As the conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its sixth year, around half a million children remain at risk. Many urgently need emergency protection and humanitarian aid, including access to clean drinking water, a safe environment to study, qualified healthcare and psychosocial support.
For some children, going to school has become extremely dangerous. During 2018, 16 educational facilities suffered from shelling and another 50 facilities were temporarily closed. Hundreds of schools have been damaged or destroyed.
The situation is particularly worrying for 400,000 children who live near the contact line, where they can step on unexploded weapons of war or be caught in crossfire.
Over EUR 4.5 million in support from the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department enabled UNICEF to reach hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable children since the conflict started in eastern Ukraine. With the EU humanitarian funding in 2018, UNICEF has provided over 26,600 children and adolescents with education supplies, child protection services and improved access to safe drinking water near the contact line. It has also helped to repair hundreds of schools.
Meet just some of the children who desperately need this support. In January, together with 'Implement a Dream' Charity Foundation, we visited to Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine to conduct the workshops and ask children, affected by the conflict, about their most cherished dreams.