UNICEF: More than half a million children ‘deeply affected’ by the conflict in Ukraine
According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the conflict in Ukraine has "considerably affected" the lives of 580,000 children living in the combat zone.
In a press release, the Fund says that more than one third of these children are in need of psychiatric and social support.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues despite numerous ceasefire agreements, and more than 9,000 people have died as a result of hostilities since the conflict started in April of 2014
“Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of children in eastern Ukraine,” said Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “As the conflict continues, we need to reach these children urgently to meet their physical as well as psychological needs.”
Barberis urged “all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to ensure safe movement and unhindered humanitarian access to help children in need.”
Earlier this year, UNICEF sought to raise an additional $54.3 million to meet the humanitarian needs of those children who are most vulnerable in the areas affected by the conflict.
The Children's Fund warns that low temperatures, fuel shortages and high prices for coal put children in the region at an especially high risk of respiratory infections. The shortage of doctors and a lack of medicine in the area threaten more disease outbreaks.