As of April 4, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded more than 1,400 civilian deaths during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This figure includes nearly 120 children who have lost their lives. As Ukrainian forces continue to claim territory back from retreating Russian forces near Kiev, these numbers will certainly grow. Indeed, the mayor of the destroyed city of Mariupol estimates that more than 5,000 of his city’s citizens have been killed during the war. Additionally, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that more than half of all children in Ukraine have been displaced by the war.
It is during times of war that UNICEF does its most vital and best work, ensuring that the most vulnerable victims of war – children – are cared and provided for. Since it was established following World War 2, in 1946, UNICEF has consistently worked to protect the rights and well-being of children, whoever they are and wherever they live.
UNICEF has been on the ground inside Ukraine since 2014 and has now significantly ramped up its operations there and in neighboring countries. The aid organization’s humanitarian work in Ukraine focuses on meeting the most critical urgent needs for safety, health care, safe water and nutrition, and protection while safeguarding children’s rights and long-term well-being.
In her urgent call for global assistance and funding, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine M. Russell bluntly stated “Children have been killed. Children have been wounded. And children are being profoundly traumatized by the violence all around them. We must protect all children in Ukraine. Now. They need peace.”
To learn more about UNICEF’s work in Ukraine, and to donate and support its efforts there, please visit https://www.unicef.org/
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