“Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children are displaced” according to UNICEF


The regional director of UNICEF calls for an “immediate ceasefire in Ukraine” and the protection of “all children against all danger”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are due in Ukraine today in Kyiv, where troops are resisting a Russian assault in the Donbass region. Vladimir Putin's forces are pushing to take over parts of eastern and southern Ukraine. This is the leaders' first visit since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

In Romania on Wednesday, President Macron said that "we, the European Union, must send clear political signals to Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people, who have been resisting heroically for several months".

In eastern Ukraine, the fighting is centered on the industrial city of Severodonetsk, and the Russians seem poised to consolidate their control after weeks of intense battles. Moscow forces destroyed the three bridges spanning a river between the city and Lysychansk just to the west, which is 'likely to isolate remaining Ukrainian defenders in the city from critical lines of communication', according to the US Institute of War.

In a chemical plant in Severodonetsk, which is constantly bombarded, according to the Ukrainian authorities, hundreds of civilians are trapped. Russia said it sought Wednesday to establish a humanitarian corridor to evacuate them, but Ukrainian forces "cynically sabotaged" the operation and prevented it from proceeding.

Afshan Khan, regional director of theUNICEF for Europe and Central Asia, spoke yesterday at the press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on the situation of Ukrainian children. He returns from Ukraine, where he visited Kyiv, Irpin, Bucha, Zhytomyr and Lviv. “My time in the country gave me a clear idea of ​​the huge impact the war in Ukraine continues to have on children, both inside and outside the country; both in the region and across the world,” he explains.

He affirms, “nearly two thirds of Ukrainian children are displaced”.

“The numbers are staggering and bear repeating. Almost two-thirds of Ukrainian children are displaced – whether they are internally displaced or have crossed borders as refugees. Children are forced to leave their homes, friends, toys and prized possessions, family members and face uncertainty about the future. This instability robs children of their future – trauma and fear can have lasting effects on children's physical and mental health. »

Afshan Khan denounces "the use of explosives in built-up urban areas".

“This use of explosive weapons in populated areas and attacks on civilian infrastructure must stop. It kills and maims children and prevents them from resuming any form of normal life in the towns and villages where they live. »

The regional director of UNICEF calls for an “immediate ceasefire in Ukraine” and the protection of “all children against all danger”.

“Every day that this war continues increases the lasting and devastating impact on children, in Ukraine, in the region and across the world. »

MC (With AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock.com/Drop of Light

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Summary of news from March 21, 2023

By The Editorial Board
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