UNICEF Ireland warns of deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as country’s 7.5 million children at immediate threat

25th February 2022

PRESS RELEASE 

UNICEF Ireland warns of deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as country’s 7.5 million children at immediate threat

Amid intensifying conflict, UNICEF is working across Ukraine to scale up life-saving programmes for children

Peter Power, Executive Director, is available for interview

DUBLIN, 24 February 2022 –  UNICEF Ireland is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation inside Ukraine as the conflict intensifies. UNICEF is scaling up efforts to respond to the growing humanitarian needs across the country.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said UNICEF anticipates that the needs of children and families will rapidly increase in the coming days and weeks. “The tragic scenes we are witnessing right now are truly a disaster for the children of Ukraine, many of whom have already been traumatised by eight years of conflict in the east of the country. This is an unfolding humanitarian emergency right on our doorstep in Europe and the like of which we hoped we would never witness again. Our teams in Ukraine are seeing the needs of children and families rapidly escalating.

“UNICEF has operations in Ukraine for many years and in recent months has scaled up its humanitarian response on the eastern border area. UNICEF is mobilising its global supply operation to ensure that humanitarian supplies, and a surge capacity of humanitarian experts, are available to support our operations on the ground.

“UNICEF is working in Ukraine to scale up life-saving programmes for children. Right now, our teams are trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas; prepositioning health, hygiene and emergency education supplies as close as possible to communities near the line of contact; and working with municipalities to ensure there is immediate help for children and families in need,” he said.

UNICEF has called for an immediate cease-fire and reminded all parties of their international obligations to protect children from harm, and to ensure that humanitarian actors can safely and quickly reach children in need. The UN children’s agency has been working to support children impacted by the conflict in Ukraine since 2014, and is determined to and continue its urgent work across the country. “We all have terrible fears about what is to come, however everyone at UNICEF is absolutely determined to do everything we can to support the children of Ukraine. UNICEF has humanitarian specialists working across a number of offices in Ukraine and our teams are committed to staying and delivering our life-saving assistance for children. We are providing life-saving assistance, alongside our humanitarian partners, in accordance with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence,” said Mr Power.

UNICEF is seeking an initial funding support to provide access to basic services including water and sanitation, immunisation and health care, schooling and learning, psychosocial support, and emergency cash assistance for up to 7.5 million children.

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ENDS

Notes to Editor

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070, danny@unicef.ie