“Our recent efforts to evacuate civilians in the east have shown us that have good will and common ground for us to build on between the parties,” she speak ambassadors.
Joint operations of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) resulted in the evacuation of more than 600 people from the Azovstal steel plant and other areas of Mariupol, as well as neighboring towns.
This is “A truly epic feat against the backdrop of ongoing shelling and devastation in the east”she said, and “A ray of hope“.
Meanwhile, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths continues to seek to bring the parties together to discuss humanitarian issues, including safe passage for both civilians and ambulance convoys. aid.
Mr. Griffiths was in Turkey this week for talks focused on the country’s support of UN efforts towards providing more humanitarian relief.
“We had to explore all options to reach more people where the need was greatest,” she said.
“We are still committed to making sure that no stones are left behind. To find measures – from local pauses to broader fire suppression – to save lives. The world expects this of us. The Ukrainian people deserve this.”
Need more help
Despite the hope expressed through evacuations, intense fighting continues to cause great suffering in Ukraine. The conflict was rooted in nearly 14 million peopleeight million of them are internally displaced, according to the latest figures.
Msuya also spoke of the “unprecedented” humanitarian scale of the crisis. Some 227 partners, mostly national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have supported more than 5.4 million people, many in the east.
In addition to the evacuations, 5 interagency convoys provided relief to those besieged in fighting, transporting essential medical supplies, food rations, water repair systems and other supplies. . However, she says this is not enough.
Msuya reported that the parties had been informed about the convoys, adding “I urge them to continue their efforts to create conditions so that we can reach more civilians.”
‘Hell on Earth’ for children
He said last month, the United Nations had verified that nearly 100 children were killed during the conflict “and we believe the actual figures are significantly higher.”
While the evacuations from Mariupol and other frontline areas were only “minions of relief,” the situation continues to worsen for children and families in conflict-affected areas. without access to aid.
“The children and their parents told us about their ‘hell on earth’, where they were forced to starve, drink in the mud, and take shelter from constant shelling and bombardment, dodging. bombs, bullets and mines as they fled,” he said.
Education for children
Education in Ukraine is also in a state of fire, with the horrific attack on a school in Luhansk this week – in which at least 60 civilians are believed to have been killed – being “a stark reminder “. Since the war began on February 24, 15 of the 89 UNICEF-supported schools in eastern Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed.
“Hundreds of schools across the country are reported to have been hit by heavy artillery, air strikes and other explosive weapons in densely populated areas, while other schools are being used as information centers, shelters, resupply centers or for military purposes – with a lasting impact on children returning to education,” he said.
Mr Abdi called for an end to attacks on schools, which he said were a lifeline for children, especially in conflicts because they provide a space of safety, routine and normalcy.
Schools also act as “connectors” to essential health and psychosocial services, and he called for support for teachers, principals and others in the education workforce.
He added that Ukrainian children must also continue to have access to an education, emphasizing the need to ensure flexible and innovative learning solutions. UNICEF and its partners are helping authorities reach students, including through online education.
Studying at home and abroad
Neighboring countries that host Ukrainian refugees are also helping children continue their education, whether in the classroom or through alternative educational pathways.
“It is estimated that 3.7 million children in Ukraine and abroad are using online and distance learning options. But enormous obstacles remain, including limited capacity and resources, language barriers, and the unpredictable mobility of children and their families,” he said.
Furthermore, more action is needed to reach those children most at risk or who may be left behind, including those who learn and children with disabilities.
Ri ripples around the globe
The war is having consequences beyond Ukraine, as world food and fuel prices hit all-time highs. Mr. Abdi said children are also feeling the effects.
“Children already affected by conflict and climate crises around the world – from Afghanistan to Yemen and the Horn of Africa – are now paying a deadly price for another war far from their doorstep. they. The consequences of the war in Ukraine will continue to spread globally.”
Although humanitarians will do all they can for the children of Ukraine, in the end what they need is an end to the war.
“Ukrainian children tell us that they want to reunite with their families, return to the community, go to school and have fun in their neighbourhood. Children are resilient but they don’t have to.
“They paid a heavy price in this war. We have to do everything we can to help make sure it doesn’t cost them their future either.”