Two years on, Ukraine conflict affects over half a million children
Over 200,000 children need psychosocial support
GENEVA/ NEW YORK/KYIV, 19 February 2016 – The conflict in Ukraine has deeply affected the lives of 580,000 children living in non-government controlled areas and close to the front line in eastern Ukraine, UNICEF said today. Of these, 200,000 – or one in three – need psychosocial support.
“Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of children in eastern Ukraine,” said Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “As the conflict continues, we need to reach these children urgently to meet their physical as well as psychological needs.”
More than 215,000 children are internally displaced from the conflict-affected areas. At least 1 out of 5 schools has been damaged or destroyed. Last year, more than 20 children were killed and over 40 were injured. Out of those, 28 casualties were caused by mines and exploded ordnance. A polio outbreak was confirmed in Ukraine 19 years after the country was declared polio free.
Damage to basic infrastructure has put the water supply at risk for some 2 million people across the frontline.
As temperatures plummet, fuel shortages and high prices of coal are leaving children at risk of respiratory infections. Lack of access to health services and a shortage of medicines are threatening more disease outbreaks.
“UNICEF calls all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to ensure safe movement and unhindered humanitarian access to help children in need,” Ms. Barberis said.
UNICEF has been working with partners to provide children with the basic services they need. To date, UNICEF has:
Earlier this year, UNICEF has called for additional US$54.3 million to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children in conflict-affected areas.
Animation, video and photos are available for download here: http://uni.cf/1GHuyfW
The Humanitarian Action for Children in Ukraine appeal is available here https://www.unicef.org/appeals/ukraine.html . For more information on the UNICEF emergency response in Ukraine visit https://www.unicef.org/ukraine/children_26253.html
For more information, please contact:
Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF Geneva, +41 79 963 9244, firstname.lastname@example.org