How the fighting in Ukraine affects children

 

Heavy fighting in Eastern Ukraine has left children and families vulnerable and in need of urgent support. Despite limited access, our Unicef colleagues continue to provide aid to communities such as Donetsk and Luhansk. But as with any conflict situation, it’s children who’ve been hit hardest.

Here are five facts that you might not have heard about the situation for children in Ukraine.

  1. Over 50 children have been killed and 140 wounded by shelling since the conflict in Ukraine began in March 2014. This senseless killing of children is a shocking reminder of the price being paid by children and families in the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine.
  2. Nearly a million people have had to flee their homes because of recent fighting, with over 136,000 children displaced within Ukraine. So far about 20,000 of these children have received Unicef education kits.
  3. Over 1.7 million children’s lives have been turned upside down by the conflict, with hundreds of schools being forced to close.
  4. In Donetsk city, over 1,000 children are living in underground bomb shelters in crowded and freezing cellars with no little or no access to water.
  5. Children in conflict-affected areas of Ukraine are at higher risk of disease as the fighting has prevented hygiene supplies, medicines and vaccines from getting through. Of the children under 5 affected by the conflict, 1.5 million are not fully vaccinated against polio.

Working with partners, our Unicef colleagues are providing critical assistance to children caught up in the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine, providing safe drinking water, education kits medicine and health care equipment for families with children.

*All names of children have been changed.