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  UKRANIAN REFUGEE CRISIS  

  Kherson, Ukraine  

Dima, 4, reads a book about mine safety with a trained educator at a UNICEF Spilno Center in Kherson, Ukraine

© UNICEF/UNI429299/Filippov

Ukraine Top

AT A GLANCE

WHO

2 Million

Ukrainian
Children

WHY

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

NEEDS

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Food

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Water

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Medical Care

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Psychological help

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Educational Support

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Child Safe Spaces

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Shelter

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Syria

THE CAUSE

The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine incites a large-scale, drawn-out war.

The ongoing international conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Despite denials of involvement, the Russian Federation backed pro-separatist militants and deployed troops to Donbas, the eastern region of Ukraine, where numerous ceasefires failed and violent fighting lasted many years. Tensions continued to escalate until 2021, when Russia began strengthening its military presence near the borders of Ukraine while refusing to recognize Ukraine as an independent nation. On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation”, and began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

IMPACT ON CHILDREN

Almost 2 million Ukrainian children are now war refugees, facing major challenges in accessing electricity, healthcare, and education.

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Regular missile and rocket attacks since the invasion on February 24, 2022 have destroyed countless homes and crippled critical infrastructure, like schools and hospitals.

 

The violence has forced nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children to seek refuge in Poland, Romania, Moldova, and other nearby countries.

 

Ukrainian refugee children face increased risk of abuse and gender-based violence, and nearly half of school-aged children in Ukraine currently lack access to formal education due to resource constraints in their host countries.

 

Those children unable to flee face horrific circumstances. Almost 2,000 have been killed or injured in conflict, while others live in damaged homes with poor protection against harsh winters.

THE CRISIS TODAY

Millions of Ukrainian refugee children continue to be displaced,
with no foreseeable means of returning home.

As of January 2024, UN data has recorded over 6.3 million refugees fleeing Ukraine, with an additional 3.7 million Ukrainians displaced internally.

 

The war continues to ravage the country, as Russian Federation troops vie for control over Ukrainian cities and strategic territories.

 

In April 2023, Putin ensured further displacement by issuing a decree stating that Ukrainians who did not take a Russian passport by mid-2024 would be deported.

 

As the war rages on many children are particularly vulnerable to social and emotional distress, especially those who lost homes or family members. Along with immediate relief efforts, organizations like UNICEF and World Vision are working to provide psychosocial services, education opportunities, and health care through on-the-ground mobile teams.

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