There Is No Safe Place in Ukraine
The conflict in Ukraine has caused the fastest and largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. The scale of destruction and impacts of attacks on civilian infrastructure, hospitals, schools are utterly shocking. Families forced to flee will be in urgent need of assistance with shelter, food and clean water.
Whenever children are forced to flee their home, there is a risk that children will become separated from their families. Additional risks of sexual exploitation and abuse, gender-based violence and human trafficking are also of grave concern.
Since our founding in 1919, Save the Children has worked tirelessly to provide refugees with life-saving assistance. Together with Save the Children Action Network, we support refugee advocacy to make sure refugees' rights are realized. Today, we are working inside Ukraine and at the borders of neighboring countries to support the immediate needs of children and their families fleeing violence in Ukraine.
Your donation today to the Children's Emergency Fund can help us reach children in Ukraine, Ukraine refugee children and children around the world who are caught in the middle of armed conflict.
Ukraine refugees are crossing the borders to neighboring countries to the west, such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
The war in Ukraine has forced at least 2.8 million children to flee the country.
A child from Ukraine has become a refugee almost every single second of the war.
Two-thirds of the 7.5 million children in Ukraine have been forced from their homes since the war escalated on February 24, 2022.
In Save the Children’s latest needs assessment of families in Ukraine, 85% said they needed psychosocial support. Families also revealed heartbreaking accounts of children unable to sleep, being constantly afraid, crying and not wanting to leave bomb shelters.
According to the latest UN data, more than 3 million refugees from Ukraine have fled to Poland.
Other neighboring countries have also welcomed a large number of refugees following the war. Nearly 900,000 Ukraine refugees have fled to Romania. Moldovia has welcomed 460,000 Ukraine refugees, Hungary has taken in more than 588,000 and 412,000 Ukraine refugees have fled to Slovakia.
Save the Children is encouraged by the response of neighboring countries opening their borders to those fleeing horrific violence in Ukraine. The response should be open, inclusive, transparent, and tailored to the immediate needs of children and their families.
The UN has warned that up to 5 million of Ukraine’s 44 million people could become refugees if attacks on Ukraine continue.
“What we’re seeing unfold in Ukraine could become Europe’s biggest humanitarian emergency since 2015, when an influx of refugees arrived in Europe after fleeing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria," Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children’s Eastern Europe Director.
Most of the Ukrainian refugees arriving are women and children.
Children and mothers are fleeing Ukraine extremely distressed after their families were torn apart as Russian military operations forced thousands of families from their homes to seek safety.
“Although we’re seeing mothers have a sense of relief that their children are safe and have found refuge," said Gabriela Alexandrescu, CEO of Save the Children in Romania, "they are terrified to be doing this alone. With husbands and fathers remaining in Ukraine, mothers are the ones who have their child’s life in their hands.”
We are very concerned about reports of racial discrimination facing children, families and students at the border leaving Ukraine. It's a fundamental principle of humanitarian support that everyone gets help, no matter their nationality or skin color.
Save the Children staff and volunteers are distributing food, water, and hygiene kits to refugees arriving at the Romania-Ukraine border and in reception centers.
In Poland and Romania, Provide Child Protection services including targeted support for unaccompanied and separated children, psychosocial support, and access to legal services.
Save the Children works with refugee and migrant children inside and outside of Europe, aiming to support vulnerable children with the greatest needs.
We are calling on neighboring countries to provide access to asylum, protection, and assistance to all people fleeing Ukraine, regardless of their nationality or visa status. It is also vital that services for children are immediately available, including safe places to play and learn, physical and mental health support, child-friendly information, and family tracing and reunification.
Save the Children is right now on the ground supporting children caught in the middle of armed conflict and forced from their homes in freezing temperatures.
Your donation today to the Children's Emergency Fund can help provide children in Ukraine and around the world who are growing up in the middle of armed conflict with urgent humanitarian aid.
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