Ukraine: Children affected by the war – Press Conference (14 June 2022) | United Nations

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Ukraine: Children affected by the war – Press Conference (14 June 2022) | United Nations” – below is their description.

UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan, said that nearly two thirds of Ukraine’s children are displaced, adding that “the numbers are staggering and they bear repeating.”

Khan briefed the reporters today (14 Jun) in New York on her last week’s visit to Ukraine, where she met with children and families affected by the war.

She said, “the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and attacks on civilian infrastructure clearly must stop. It’s killing and maiming children and preventing them from returning to any sense of normal life in their towns and their cities and in their homes.”

Khan added that she has seen a number of children, even young children, “severely traumatized by what they’ve witnessed.”

The UNICEF Regional Director also said, “I think when the escalation of the conflict, there’s severe issues to deal with the protection of children and families. And while to date inside Ukraine, UNICEF has reached over two million people with health supplies and access to safe drinking water.”

She continued, “more than 600,000 children and caregivers have received mental health and psychosocial support, and more than 180,000 children have been engaged in formal and community-based learning. The needs are exorbitant and huge.”

Khan added, “we have partners on both sides of the contact line who worked to reach children with critical information and lifesaving supplies and services. And we’ve activated rapid response missions in the east of the country, closest to the line of contact and the fighting and as a result we’ve been able to date to assist 100 families in shelters closest to the frontline and in the hardest to reach locations.”

She also said, “the new school year begins in September. And while we don’t have verified figures for the exact number of damaged schools in the country, the figure is likely to be in the thousands.”

Khan explained, “first of all, because we’ve seen shelling and attacks against schools, but secondly, because it’s often a source for many internally displaced people to seek shelter in those schools.”

She reiterated that “repairing schools will be a priority for UNICEF and the government,” so children can return early in September to “some form of safe blended learning. And really we see this not just for the learning opportunities, but also for the psychosocial support that’s needed for children, with peers, teachers and some sense of return to normalcy.”

The UNICEF Regional Director continued to call for “an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine to protect all children from harm.”

She said, “We recognize that every day that this war is continuing, its increasing the long lasting devastating impact on children in Ukraine, in the region and across the world.”

Khan said, “ultimately, we see that all we can do right now is provide temporary respite. But what is really needed is a cessation of the hostilities and peaceful return for children to be able to get back to some sense of normalcy. Where right now their futures have been shattered.”

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