The Ukraine – Russia war drags on taking new lives every day. As more weapons are delivered to Ukraine by western allies Russia is restructuring its industry to meet their military goals and strengthen their army. Both sides of the conflict seem to be gaining muscles and gear up military training to fight on. There is no end to this conflict in sight.
The children in Ukraine continue to suffer the consequences of this disaster. Nationwide approximately 5.7 million school-aged children in Ukraine are not able to proceed with their education and are fighting new levels of poverty and other difficulties according to the UN estimate. This number includes 1.2 million Ukrainian children, who are currently evacuated abroad or displaced within Ukraine. Our at-risk children experts do what they can to support vulnerable Ukrainian children stuck in this horror with no ability to leave. Please consider joining efforts with us through our at-risk children assistance program in Ukraine: https://helpchildreninukraine.org/
In addition to battle in and around of south-eastern town of Bahmut Russia continues their strikes on energy grid and other critical infrastructure in Ukraine. As the war approaches the one-year mark, the weather is still freezing and children, especially those near war lines are left without proper access to electricity, heating and water. In addition to these humanitarian needs children in Ukraine have limited access to education as most schools don’t have bomb shelters and are closed for this reason or are not able to heat the school buildings or simply don’t have electricity. Some lessons continue on-line and the Ministry of Education of Ukraine recommends teachers to record their lessons electronically, however, only the children who have access to the internet and gadgets can take advantage of these lessons. Vast majority of children in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine (most densely populated before war times) are also deprived of the ability to stay together as a family as their fathers (and sometimes other family members) are drafted to the Ukrainian army and are on the battlefield, in military training, or support the troops in other ways.
Limited access to health care is another major issue. Damaged or ruined health facilities, limited number of doctors and nurses are not able to provide proper medical services. The malfunctioning water provision facilities and pipes increase the risk of further spread of Covid-19, infectious diseases, pneumonia and waterborne diseases.
Beyond the immediate humanitarian threats and freezing conditions is worsening the psychosocial situation for children, who are already facing a looming mental health crisis. Millions of children in Ukraine are at risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental conditions. In addition to battlefield combat Russia continues to shell civilian infrastructure and has destroyed about 40% of Ukraine’s power production. As both sides are gaining more weapons – more population movements are to be expected.
Our child expert team pursues the monitoring and evaluation of the status of at-risk children in Ukraine and will publish regular updates. We welcome western donors to join our cause.