Nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children fled their homes in the six weeks following Russia’s invasion, and the United Nations has confirmed the death of 142 youngsters, although the number is certainly much higher. said the United Nations children’s agency.
Manuel Fontaine, director of emergency programs at UNICEF who has just returned from Ukraine, said the displacement of 4.8 million of Ukraine’s 7.5 million children in such a short time is “pretty incredible”. . He said it was something he had never seen happen so quickly in 31 years of humanitarian work.
“They were forced to leave everything behind – their homes, their schools and, often, their family members,” he told the UN Security Council. “I have heard stories of the desperate measures parents are taking to get their children to safety, and the children are saddened that they cannot return to school.”
Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya claimed that Russia had removed more than 121,000 children from Ukraine and had drafted a bill to simplify and speed up adoption procedures for children. orphans and even those who have parents and other relatives. He said most of the children were removed from the beleaguered port city of Mariupol and taken to eastern Donetsk and then to the Russian city of Taganrog, he said.
He said that among Ukrainian refugee children, 2.8 million are internally displaced within Ukraine and another 2 million are in other countries. At the same time, he said, almost half of the estimated 3.2 million children still at home in Ukraine “may be at risk of not having enough food”, those in besieged cities like Mariupol facing to the most dire situation.
Fontaine said the school closures affect the education of 5.7 million younger children and 1.5 million students in higher education.
“Hundreds of schools and educational institutions have been attacked or used for military purposes,” he said. “Others serve as shelters for civilians.”