16 per cent Children Under 5 Years Killed In Ukraine War

The war between Ukraine and Russia that escalated six months ago has led to the killing of 16 per cent of children under the age of five, according to the Save the Children.

In its new analysis, they said that at least 942 children were killed or injured in Ukraine between February 24 and August 10. This comes to an average of five children every day — with 356 children losing their lives and 586 wounded, according to data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). However, the UN had said that the total number of casualties is likely to be much higher than those currently verified and the exact ages of all child casualties are not all known. Most of the verified child casualties were due to the use of explosive weapons in populated, urban areas.

UKRAINE CHILDREN; ANXIETY

Save the Children said relentless shelling and bombing reportedly damaged more than 600 buildings in the first month of the war in Kharkiv. These included nurseries, schools and health care facilities.

Save the Childrenalso quoted Mother Dana, 29, and her daughter, Antonina, 2, who fled Kharkiv in March at the peak of the city’s bombardment. “She heard all the explosions and was afraid; she couldn’t sleep. When the same thing happens here, she is scared and asks: ‘something went boom, mom. What just went boom?’” said Dana. “With a child that’s only two-and-a-half years old, I can’t just explain to her that there’s a war going on and children are dying. She’s too small.”

Instead, she tells her daughter that the loud booms are thunder. However, this tactic does not work for her older nieces and nephews who are more aware of what is happening.

“They ask a lot of questions. One of my nephews is nine and he asks: “Will I die as well?” His parents try hard at picking the right words to give him an answer,” said Dana. “My five-year-old niece asks ‘When I grow up, will I still be running to the hallway when there’s a siren?’ So, they understand [that this isn’t normal].”

The Organisation said that children are growing up on the frontlines of brutal warfare as urban areas are used as battlefields, leading to deaths and life-changing injuries, and destroying infrastructure needed to guarantee access to life-saving food and water.

They claim that millions of children from Ukraine have fled their homes, with an estimated 3.1 million children living as refugees in neighbouring countries. About 3 million children are believed to be internally displaced inside Ukraine.

Save the Children’s Country Director in Ukraine, Sonia Khush, said: “Although children in Ukraine have nothing to do with the causes of the war, they are the ones most affected by it. They are growing up to the sound of bombs and shelling, and to the sight of their homes being destroyed, their schools damaged and their friends and family members being killed or injured.”

Even though cities throughout the country are on the frontlines of a devastating war, Save the Children teams are seeing acts of kindness and resilience unfold throughout the country. In Bucha, for example, – which was severely damaged by shelling and bombing earlier this year – the community has come together to rebuild a destroyed playground for children.

Khush continued: “Children need more than humanitarian aid, they need hope: hope that this war will end; hope that they can return home; and hope for a bright future. Without meaningful support and an immediate cessation of hostilities, Ukraine will not only become a graveyard for even more children but also for children’s hopes and dreams.”

UKRAINE CHILDREN; CALL FOR ACTION

Save the Children called for an immediate cessation of hostilities as the only way to protect children from violence and other violations of their rights. The aid agency condemns attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, and the use of ballistic missiles and other inaccurate explosive weapons, which are causing civilian casualties, and violate international humanitarian law.

Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering humanitarian aid to children and their families. It is now supporting refugee families across Europe and helping children to get access to the services they need. With the help of local partners, Save the Children is providing shelter, food, cash, fuel, psychological support, baby and hygiene kits to displaced families. It is on the ground, distributing essential household kits to families affected by the conflict.

UKRAINE; FACTS
  • Between February 24 to August 10, 942 children have been confirmed killed and injured in Ukraine, with 356 children killed and 586 injured. According to numbers Save the Children obtained from OHCHR:
  • Age unknown: 55 killed and 151 injured
  • Civilian casualties among children under 5 (of those 736 whose ages are known):
  • Killed – 59 children under 5
  • 16.5% of 356 total number of children killed under 5
  • Injured – 75 children
  • About 13% of the 586 children injured under 5
  • 134 children (or 14% of 942 total child casualties) were under 5
  • As of 16 August, 6.37 million people have fled Ukraine, half (3.18) are estimated to be children.

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