Since February 2022 when the war in Ukraine escalated, there has been no safe place for children in Ukraine. Every war is a war against children. Right now 7.5 million children in Ukraine are in grave danger of physical harm, severe emotional distress, and displacement. Air strikes and explosions have damaged essential services like schools, and hospitals.
We are gravely concerned for children caught in the middle of this armed conflict. The impact of this war on children's mental health cannot be underestimated - surviving is just the beginning. Read the stories of children from Ukraine.
Of the nearly 18 million people in Ukraine in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, over 4 million are children. The ongoing conflict is exacerbating children’s needs for protection, mental health and psychological support, food, healthcare, education, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Children must be protected from harm at all times.
Dmytro* lives with his mother and six younger siblings in Chernihiv, northern Ukraine, near the border with Russia and Belarus (pictured).
When the fighting began, Dmytro*, his pregnant mother Olha* and the rest of the family locked themselves in their property for one month and lived without electricity or water. Olha* told us:
"We were surviving, there was no electricity, no water, children needed to wash and there was no food at the local store. It was hard. For a whole month we had no electricity"
But now, nearly a year since the war escalated, the situation for Olha's* family still remains dire, affecting her children's mental wellbeing. She said:
"Every day the shelling gets closer, and closer, and closer. There is not a single day without bombing. We’ve become used to the bombing, it’s been almost a year already, so we’re used to it."
"The children are used to shelling. When it gets too loud, they run, but otherwise they ignore it."
Dmytro’s* family are receiving psychosocial support from social workers who work for Save the Children’s local partner as well as food, clothes and other essential items. Read more stories like Dmyto's.
In times of humanitarian crises, when children are at their most vulnerable, Save the Children is there.
Our teams are responding through partners to deliver essential humanitarian aid to children and their families. This includes the provision of food, water, hygiene kits, and safe places for children. We are providing cash grants to families so they can meet their basic needs.
Our specialist teams are providing children with access to safe, inclusive, quality education and are working to help children overcome the psychological impacts of their experiences of conflict and violence. Learn more about how we support the well-being of children living in conflict.
Save the Children has been delivering humanitarian aid to children and their families in Ukraine since 2014. Now, we are supporting refugee families from Ukraine across Europe, helping children to access the services they need. Read more about our response after the last year of the war.
Our Child Emergency Fund allows us to respond wherever the need is greatest. Donate to save the lives of children in crisis.