One month since Russia invaded Ukraine, it has displaced 4.3 million Ukrainian children – more than half of the country’s child population, according to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on March 24. Of these, more than 1.8 million children have crossed into neighboring countries as refugees, and another 2.5 million are still internally displaced inside Ukraine.
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said the war has led to the largest displacement of children in a short period of time since World War II. It is a grim milestone that could have a lasting and profound impact for generations to come. Children’s physical safety, wellbeing, and access to basic social services are endlessly threatened. She also noted that in just a few weeks, the war has taken devastation for Ukraine’s children, who urgently need peace and protection. UNICEF continues to call for an immediate cease-fire and protection of children from war. The basic infrastructure on which children depend, including hospitals, schools, and buildings that shelter civilians, must never be attacked.
The war has had devastating consequences on civilian infrastructure and basic social services, according to a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). To date, 78 children have been killed and 105 have been injured in Ukraine. However, these figures represent only those casualty reports that the UN can confirm, and the true death toll is likely far higher.