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Ukraine: “Don’t give up on diplomacy– because more violence will destroy a generation of children.”

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Feb. 23, 2022)—Children will bear the brunt of a significant escalation in fighting in Ukraine, with injuries and deaths likely in the worst-case scenario, says Save the Children, calling for an immediate cessation to hostilities.

Already at least 100,000 people, including at least 40,000 children, have been displaced from Eastern Ukraine in recent days, joining an estimated 854,000 people already displaced across Ukraine since the start of the conflict in 2014. Already over eight years at least 3,106 civilians, including more than 150 children, have been killed, and an estimated 7,000 have been injured.

Any new mass movement of children will put them in grave danger of hunger, cold, and illness. With Eastern Ukraine one of the most mine-contaminated regions in the world, children on the move will be at risk of losing limbs from landmines and explosive devices.  Almost 70% of civilian casualties since the July 2020 ceasefire have been caused by landmines and explosive devices.

Save the Children is urgently calling on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, as the only way to protect children and their families from further violence and other violations of their rights.

Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children's Eastern Europe Director, said:

“We are standing at the precipice of a truly catastrophic war, and every effort must be made to pull us back. Children are terrified—they wonder if their homes will be shelled, their friends hurt, their security and sense of normalcy lost. And parents are terrified—they are going to sleep at night and wondering whether they’ll be hauling their children on buses and trains tomorrow, looking for safety.

“This is an appalling situation. But more fighting isn’t inevitable. Leaders must step up, in the interests of the region’s most vulnerable, its children.

“Save the Children joins children and parents across Ukraine to call on all actors to cease hostilities and find a peaceful solution. It is still possible to de-escalate this crisis. The international community should increase and support diplomatic efforts as though their own lives depended on it. The lives of children in Ukraine hang in the balance. Only diplomacy and dialogue will lead to an outcome that protects children’s lives and rights.”

Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering essential humanitarian aid to children and their families. A donation to Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund supports humanitarian programs aiming to reach 3.5 million children and their families with immediate aid and recovery such as, food, water, hygiene kits and dignity kids, psychosocial support, safe spaces and cash assistance. 

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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