Half of children displaced in Ukraine: “A dark stage”

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More than 4.3 million Ukrainian children – more than half of the estimated 7.5 million children in the country – have been displaced due to Russiawar, according to the UN

The figure of 4.3 million represents more than 1.8 million refugee children who have crossed into neighboring countries and 2.5 million internally displaced children in Ukraine.

A local policeman comes to the aid of a Ukrainian refugee apparently separated from her mother at the border between Moldova and Ukraine.
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A local policeman comes to the aid of a Ukrainian refugee apparently separated from her mother at the border between Moldova and Ukraine.
(Siegfried Modola/ UNICEF)

“The war has caused one of the fastest large-scale displacements of children since World War II,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement Thursday. “This is a grim step that could have lasting consequences for generations to come. Children’s safety, well-being and access to essential services are all threatened by horrific and unrelenting violence.”

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that 81 children have been killed and 108 injured since Russian military forces invaded on February 24, although the figure could be higher.

The Lviv Specialized Regional Children's Clinical Hospital receives sick children, including children with cancer, who have fled from other parts of the country in search of safety and care.

The Lviv Specialized Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital receives sick children, including children with cancer, who have fled from other parts of the country in search of safety and care.
(Viktor Moskaliuk/ UNICEF)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that Russian forces have carried out 52 attacks on Ukrainian health facilities in the past four weeks, and Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science estimates damage to more than 500 educational institutions. According to UNICEF, more than 450,000 Ukrainian children need food and other forms of support.

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“In just a few weeks, the war has brought such devastation to Ukrainian children,” Russell said. “Children are in urgent need of peace and protection. They need their rights. UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire and the protection of children from harm. The critical infrastructure on which children, including hospitals, schools and buildings housing civilians, must never be attacked.”

Empty strollers were placed in neat rows in the central square of Lviv, Ukraine, on March 17, to symbolize the children killed in the ongoing war.

Empty strollers were placed in neat rows in the central square of Lviv, Ukraine, on March 17, to symbolize the children killed in the ongoing war.
(Alexei Filippov/ UNICEF)

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UNICEF has so far delivered medical supplies and other basic necessities to 49 hospitals in nine regions of Ukraine, benefiting some 400,000 people.

More than 3.6 million Ukrainians have fled the country since February 24, most to Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary and Russia.

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