Rome – Only when (and if) the war in ukraine it will be over, it will be possible to draw the true balance sheets of this tragedy in all its consequences. Admittedly, one fact is obvious: the wave of refugees leaving the country is in fact, for the moment, depopulating Ukraine also of its future. Millions of children who have crossed borders as well as those forced to wander within the country looking for a safe place. also of its future. About two-thirds of all Ukrainian children – denounces Unicef, the UN agency for children – they were forced to flee their homes within six weeks of the Russian invasion. The UN has also updated a 142 the number of minors already victims of the war. A figure, he underlines, certainly lower than the real one.
Manuel Fontaine, director of emergency programs at UNICEF who has just returned from Ukraine, said that in more than 30 years of work he had never seen an exodus of this magnitude in such a short time. time, an exodus that has concerned 4.8 of the 7.5 million children. “Of the 3.2 children who stayed at homehalf may not have enough food“, Fontaine told the UN Council. The worst situations are those of Mariupol and Kherson, without water, without health services, and where the supply of food and medicine has been interrupted.
Not only. School closures are impacting the learning and future of 5.7 million school-aged children and 1.5 million students attending higher education, Fontaine noted. “In just six weeks, nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been displaced. They were forced to leave everything behind: their home, their school and often their family members. Unaccompanied children are more exposed to violence, abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Women also face such risks. We are extremely concerned about the increasing information about sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence. In Ukraine, we continue to face extremely difficult operating conditions. We have seen progress in recent weeks, with our teams and aid successfully reaching Sumy, Kharkiv and Kramatorsk, among other cities. But this is not enough.”
What is also worrying is “the generalization presence of explosive remnants of war that put children at risk of death and injury awful. Eastern Ukraine was already one of the most mined stretches of land in the world even before the recent escalation. This reality is rapidly spreading to other parts of the country. We closely monitor the health, rights and dignity of women and girls as the risk of exploitation and abuse increases. And we continue to reiterate the need to ensure that children separated from their families or living in institutions are protected and that every effort is made to obtain the consent of those who care for them and the approval of the authorities before these children are evacuated or moved. I ask everyone who has the power to end this war to use it. The lives and future of millions of children are at stake.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, has in the meantime accused Russia of forcibly transferring 121,000 Ukrainian children adopt a law to simplify and speed up adoption procedures. Unicef, assured Fontaine, will investigate the case, on which “no evidence has emerged for the moment”. The BBC reports.