Krieg Ukraine Maedchen Ruinen

Emergency response for children in the Ukraine war

Your donation makes a difference.*

  • A donation of CHF 100 provides hygiene kits for two families
  • A donation of CHF 150 provides first aid kits for five families
  • A donation of CHF 200 provides a “school in a cardboard box” for a class of 48 children
How much would you like to donate?

Emergency response for children in the Ukraine war

After two years of war, nearly half of Ukraine’s population depends on humanitarian aid – including more than four million children. UNICEF is working in Ukraine and many neighboring countries and continuing its emergency response. 

The armed conflict in Ukraine has dragged on for two years and is claiming more human lives every day – including those of innocent civilians, with many children among them. Around half of the population is now dependent on humanitarian aid. Millions of people have lost their livelihoods. Access to vital services such as a water supply, heating and health care is severely restricted. The bombardment continues in many areas and is damaging countless homes and key institutions. The consequences for the population are devastating – particularly now, in winter, when temperatures in parts of the country can fall to below -20 degrees Celsius. 

The outbreak of war in February 2022 sparked off the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. In the first year of the war in particular, millions of people had to flee their homes and seek refuge within Ukraine or in neighboring countries. Even today, around six million refugees from Ukraine are registered in Europe. Most of them are women and children. War experiences and dislocation can be seriously traumatic, particularly for children. 

Krieg Ukraine Veronica

January 30, 2023 – Every day, Veronica returns to these ruins in Borodianka. This is where she lived before the war. Now she comes to feed the stray cats. While they eat, Veronica’s gaze pans over the ruined high-rise. “There, on the ninth floor where you can see a brown door, was where my room used to be,” recounts the ten-year-old. “I had a big bed and many toys. I had a phone. But the bomb ruined everything. If the wind blows, we can find the remains of our things nearby sometimes.”
 
Veronica and her parents were lucky. They had fled their home just one day before the attacks. They left the city, and didn’t return until months later. They survived – unlike many of their relatives and friends. The family now lives in a single room in social housing, together with an aunt and two dogs. 

Krieg Ukraine
Krieg Ukraine Maedchen Schule

“I’ve lost a lot of friends, and it’s very stressful. My friends have had to mature. Everyone I speak with is more serious about life.”

Sasha, 10, fled to Moldova from Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Krieg Ukraine Zerstoerung

“I can’t see my future because I don’t know if I’ll wake up tomorrow. I hope the war will stop and my father will return home.”

Alona, 14, from Chernihiv, Ukraine
Krieg Ukraine Zerstoerung

“War is when completely unexpected strangers come and start shooting. And now we are scared all the time.”

Bohdan, 10, from Izium, Ukraine.
Krieg Ukraine Zerstoerung

“The soldiers really frightened the children. Four armed men came into our house once. They wore balaclavas and pointed guns at us. They searched the house and took our phones and laptops. My son got very scared and started stuttering.”

Alina, mother of 13-year-old Nazar, Olyzarivka, Ukraine

UNICEF is in action not only in Ukraine, but also along the escape routes in neighboring countries. 

Together with local partners...

  • we provide urgently needed emergency supplies; 
  • we support households with cash assistance;
  • we give children and families access to safe water, hygiene products and sanitation; 
  • we reach millions of people in the country thanks to mobile medical teams, and can give them access to medical services;
  • we look after girls and boys traumatized by the war, alongside psychosocial care teams;
  • we ensure that children have access to education.

In the cold winter months, UNICEF also supports the population with cash assistance, warm clothing and the repair of WASH and heating facilities. In the past winter season of 2022/23, we were able to reach more than 1.5 million people with warm winter clothing, blankets and heating facilities and ensured the functionality of water supplies and health services affected by power cuts. In total, 800 generators, 90 mobile boilers and 3,000 water heaters were provided.

UNICEF has been working in Ukraine and neighboring countries since the outbreak of the war to provide refugee families with basic necessities. We have set up contact points for refugee children and their families along the escape routes in the border areas of several countries, such as the Republic of Moldova and Romania.

At the contact points, also known as Blue Dots, UNICEF is creating child-friendly spaces where girls and boys can relax and play. Trained staff help children come to terms with their experiences and also look after refugees who are unaccompanied minors. Mothers of small children can retreat to protected rooms, for example to breastfeed and change diapers. Parents can obtain information about other support services at the Blue Dots. Families can also obtain relief supplies such as hygiene items and blankets.

Emergency response for children in the Ukraine war

Your donation makes a difference.*

  • A donation of CHF 100 provides hygiene kits for two families
  • A donation of CHF 150 provides first aid kits for five families
  • A donation of CHF 200 provides a “school in a cardboard box” for a class of 48 children
How much would you like to donate?