Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children were displaced in just six weeks and almost half of the children remaining in Ukraine may face food insecurity, Manuel Fontaine, Unicef’s director of emergencies, said on Monday.
“Of the estimated 3.2 million children who have remained at home, almost half may be at risk of not having enough food. Attacks on water system infrastructure and power outages have left some 1.4 million people without access to water in Ukraine. Another 4.6 million people have only limited access,” Fontaine told the UN Security Council.
“In just six weeks, nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been displaced. They have been forced to leave everything behind: their homes, their schools, and often their families.”
Fontaine added that the situation for children in Ukraine is even worse in Mariupol and Kherson, “where children and their families have been without running water and sanitation for weeks now, without a regular supply of food and medical care. They are taking refuge in their homes and underground, waiting for the bombs and violence to stop.
Unicef’s director of emergencies also expressed concern about the presence of “explosive remnants of war” that can expose children to death and injury, as well as the disruption of children’s education across the country.
“The closure of schools across the country is affecting the learning – and the future – of 5.7 million schoolchildren and 1.5 million students in higher education. In the Donbas region, an entire generation of children have seen their lives and education upended during the last eight years of conflict,” Fontaine said.