New Delhi: The United Nations (UN) on Monday (April 11, 2022) said that it has verified the deaths of 142 children and that 229 youngsters have been injured in the six weeks since Russia’s invasion.
The UN children’s agency also informed that nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.
“I returned last week from a mission to Ukraine. In my 31 years as a humanitarian, I have rarely seen so much damage caused in so little time,” Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Emergency Programmes Director said at the Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
“Of the 3.2 million children estimated to have remained in their homes, nearly half may be at risk of not having enough food. Attacks on water system infrastructure and power outages have left an estimated 1.4 million people without access to water in Ukraine. Another 4.6 million people have only limited access,” he stated.
Situation worse in Mariupol and Kherson
Fontaine said that the situation is “even worse” in cities like Mariupol and Kherson, where children and their families have now gone weeks without running water and sanitation services, a regular supply of food, and medical care.
“They are sheltering in their homes and underground, waiting for the bombs and violence to stop,” he added.
Fontaine said that every day the war continues, children will continue to suffer.
"Every day the war continues, children will continue to suffer."@UNICEF's @Manuel_Fontaine's remarks at the Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in #Ukrainehttps://t.co/Aby6sIAh2y pic.twitter.com/bt2jxYcmIE
— UNICEF Media (@UNICEFmedia) April 11, 2022
“As of yesterday, OHCHR has verified 142 children killed and 229 children injured. We know these numbers are likely much higher — and many of them were caused by crossfire or the use of explosive weapons in populated areas,” the UN official said.
“Nationwide school closures are impacting the learning — and the futures — of 5.7 million school-age children and 1.5 million students in higher education. In the Donbas region, a whole generation of children have already seen their lives and education upended during the past eight years of conflict,” he added.
Time to end this war
Fontaine said that of Ukraine’s displaced children, 2.8 million are in Ukraine and 2 million more are in other countries.
“Resources are already over-stretched and local residents live in a state of uncertainty as the sounds of air raids and warnings from local officials ring regularly, reminding them that the frontlines may soon reach them too,” he said.
“It is time to end this war. Ukraine’s children cannot afford to wait,” he added.