Ukraine: Almost 400 children killed or injured with two-thirds fleeing their homes in first seven weeks of war
KYIV, 14 April 2022 – Nearly two thirds of the 7.5 million children in Ukraine have fled their homes since the conflict escalated seven weeks ago, with reports of at least 153 children killed although Save the Children fears the number could be much higher.
Latest data from the United Nations estimates that 2.8 million children are now displaced within Ukraine and another two million have fled to neighbouring countries. This means 64% of children in Ukraine, or 4.8 million, are now on the move.
The UN has been able to verify the deaths of 153 children and recorded 246 injured so far, although the real number is almost certainly much higher. All children in Ukraine are in imminent danger as an increasing number of hospitals and schools come under attack.
In the first five weeks of the war, an average of 22 school were attacked every day. In Mykolaiv last week, a children’s hospital came under attack leaving two girls, aged nine and 15, in critical condition.
In Mariupol and other areas most badly affected by the war, children and families are in grave danger, facing potentially fatal shortages of water, food, and medicines.
Pete Walsh, Save the Children Ukraine Country Director, said:
“Every single death of a child is one too many. These numbers are beyond tragic, and likely to grow. Families are risking their lives in search of safety. Just last week, 39 people including four children were killed at Kramatorsk railway station during an evacuation.
“At Siret border in Romania last week, our staff met a family from Mariupol; a father and five young children. The children were shell-shocked and had been staying in a basement for two weeks, shielding from airstrikes.
“This war is spiralling out of control, leaving children with long-term trauma that cannot be underestimated. “
Notes to editors:
- Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014. Throughout the eight-year conflict, we have been delivering essential humanitarian aid to children and their families, including winter kits and hygiene kits and providing cash grants to families. Our specialists support children in having access to safe, inclusive, quality education and are working with schools and community centres to help children overcome the mental and psychological impacts of their experiences of conflict and violence.
- Save the Children has a team in Poland, coordinating with local partners to assess the situation and respond to needs. Save the Children is working here to establish family tracing and reunification procedures with other agencies to help reunite children with extended family and friends in Poland and neighbouring countries, as well as to establish child protection systems and reporting mechanisms to keep children safe.
- In Romania, Save the Children staff and volunteers continue to help refugees arriving from Ukraine at the border and in reception centres with provision of basic non-food items and other outreach services.
- For many years now, Save the Children has been working with refugee and migrant children inside and outside of Europe, aiming to support vulnerable children with the greatest needs. We run reception centres providing child friendly activities and work on informing children about their rights in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Norway. In Italy, we also support relocation efforts, train temporary legal guardians who assist children during their asylum procedures, and work with UN agencies to ensure unaccompanied children are protected.
- Ukraine: civilian casualty update 12 April 2022 | OHCHR
- War in Ukraine a 'nightmare for Ukraine’s children' (unicef.org)
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