Up to one million Ukrainian children need aid – UNICEF

Up to one million Ukrainian children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. It is double the number as last year.

As reported by UN Children’s Fund and UNICEF.

Experts of UNICEF are associating such dynamics with continued fighting and the deterioration of life in eastern Ukraine.

“Children in eastern Ukraine have been living under the constant threat of unpredictable fighting and shelling for the past three years. Their schools have been destroyed, they have been forced from their homes and their access to basic commodities like heat and water has been cut off”, - as press service of the Fund has quoted Giovanna Barberis, the UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

Fund is convinced that 200,000 children living within 15 kilometers on each side of the “contact line” are in particularly grave situation.

“In this zone, 19,000 children face constant danger from landmines and other unexploded ordinance and 12,000 children live in communities shelled at least once a month”, - said in the UNICEF statement.

More than 740 schools, 1 in 5 in eastern Ukraine, have been damaged or destroyed.

UNICEF calls for all sides to immediately recommit to the ceasefire signed in Minsk in August 2015.

In addition, UNICEF calls to respect international humanitarian law, including allowing unrestricted humanitarian access. 

“After three horrific years, children in eastern Ukraine urgently need lasting peace, so that their unnecessary suffering ends”, - said Giovanna Barberis.

5th grader Radion standing near shot window in School №2 of Marinka. Donetsk region, January 25, 2017
10-year old Angelina against the background of protective bags with sand. School №2 of Marinka, Donetsk region, January 26, 2017
Children are eating near warming centre in Avdiivka, which suffered from cold during heavy shelling from Moscow-backed militant groups. February 1, 2017

UNICEF is appealing for US$31.3 million to provide health and nutrition support, education, hygiene and sanitation, clean water. So far, approximately 10 per cent of the appeal has been funded.

Earlier, Mykola Kuleba, the President’s commissioner for children’s rights in Ukraine, reported that every eight child suffered from the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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