24 February 2023 – As Ukraine today marks one year of war, heightened security risks have yet again forced schools across the nation and places designed to bring normality to traumatised children, to close.
Nealy 8 million Ukrainian children have now endured an entire year of violence, fear, loss and tragedy since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the world’s largest children’s charity, UNICEF.
UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart said children have lived with prolonged grief, beginning with being forced from their homes, neighbourhoods plus a year of lost education.
“The last 365 days of war has been a violation of children’s rights – to be safe, to have healthcare, to learn, and to play. It has deprived them of a childhood, exposed them to trauma impacting them and everyone around them, and derailed their hope for the future,” Mr Stuart said.
“This week we are reminded of the 1148 children who have been killed or injured, and we’re calling on Australians to give their support to the child survivors of this horror.”
UNICEF analysis shows long term detrimental impacts to children including:
- Four out of five children in Ukraine are living in poverty,
- 1.5 million at risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues.
- More than 5 million have had their education disrupted due to destruction of schools and electricity infrastructure.
- Of the many millions of Ukrainian refugee children who fled to surrounding countries, two thirds are still not enrolled in school.
UNICEF Global Spokesperson James Elder said from Lviv: “There are millions of children whose normal doesn’t exist anymore and there is no end in sight. They have been forced from their homes and any sense of normality, lost loved ones, been injured, suffered trauma from violence, been plunged into poverty. But these children are not numbers. They need to be reunited with their fathers, grandfathers and uncles. They need to rejoin learning so they can build a hopeful future, they need basic healthcare so they can be protected from preventable childhood illnesses.
“Children need an end to this war, but until then they need the support of generous Australians for mental
Australians can donate to UNICEF Australia’s Ukraine appeal at www.unicef.org.au/help-ukraine