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Ukraine: At least two children killed in war every day


The war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on children, with nearly 100 days of fighting resulting in the deaths of at least two children every day, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that more than 5.2 million children in Ukraine need humanitarian assistance, with three million displaced inside the country and 2.2 million refugees in neighboring countries.

The Human Toll

The war has had a devastating impact on children's lives in Ukraine. According to UNICEF, at least 349 children have been killed and 555 injured as of June 20, 2023. These numbers are likely to be underreported, as many deaths and injuries go unrecorded in areas of active conflict.

The war has also had a significant impact on children's mental health. Many children are experiencing trauma, anxiety, and depression. They may also be witnessing violence and death, which can have a lasting impact on their psychological well-being.

In addition to the physical and psychological toll, the war has also had a significant impact on children's education. Hundreds of schools have been damaged or destroyed, and many children have been forced to flee their homes. As a result, millions of children are out of school and at risk of falling behind in their education.

The Exploitation Toll

The war has also created a significant risk of exploitation for children. Children who are displaced or separated from their families are at increased risk of being trafficked, abused, or sexually exploited.

According to UNICEF, there have been reports of children being recruited by armed groups or forced to work in dangerous conditions. There have also been reports of children being sexually exploited, including being forced into prostitution or pornography.

The Humanitarian Response

UNICEF and its partners are working to provide life-saving assistance to children and families affected by the war in Ukraine. Inside Ukraine, UNICEF has distributed health and medical supplies for nearly 2.1 million people and secured safe water access for more than 2.1 million people. Over 610,000 children and caregivers have also received mental health and psychosocial support, and nearly 290,000 children have been given learning supplies.

In countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, UNICEF is providing anti-trafficking training for border guards and encouraging local authorities to integrate refugee children into schools. UNICEF is also providing vaccines and medical supplies for displaced Ukrainians and establishing play and learning hubs to provide young children with a sense of normalcy and respite.

Recommendations

The international community must continue to provide humanitarian assistance to children and families affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes providing funding for UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations, as well as providing safe passage for refugees and humanitarian aid.

Governments should work to protect children from exploitation and trafficking. This includes strengthening border security and working with local communities to identify and protect vulnerable children.

Governments should also work to integrate refugee children into schools and provide them with access to mental health and psychosocial support.

The international community must work to end the war in Ukraine as quickly as possible. This is the only way to protect children from the devastating consequences of conflict.

The Long-Term Toll

The war in Ukraine will have a long-term impact on children. Many children will need years of support to recover from the trauma they have experienced.

In addition to the physical and psychological toll, the war will also have a significant impact on children's educational attainment and economic opportunities. Many children will have missed years of school, which could have a lasting impact on their future prospects.

The international community must commit to providing long-term support for children affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes providing funding for education, mental health, and other services that will help children recover and rebuild their lives.

Conclusion

The war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on children. The international community must work together to provide humanitarian assistance, protect children from exploitation and trafficking, and integrate refugee children into schools. The international community must also work to end the war in Ukraine as quickly as possible to protect children from the devastating consequences of conflict.

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