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83% surveyed children in Ukraine extremely concerned about their safety

  • Children are struggling to cope with trauma piled on top of trauma
  • 47% of surveyed children have some form of damage to their homes
  • 83% of surveyed children are extremely concerned about their safety, with more than one in three children listing violence as one of their top three worries

One year on since the conflict in Ukraine, a new assessment of World Vision reveals the devastating consequences on children in conflict-affected Kherson, Kharkiv, and Dnipro.

The assessment, conducted by World Vision and the organisation’s Ukrainian partner Arms of Mercy, reveals that 83% of the 457 children surveyed are extremely concerned about their safety, with more than one in three children listing violence as one of their top three worries.

Many children have lost their homes or had to move to safer places; almost half (47%) of the surveyed children said their homes are damaged in some way.

“Children in Ukraine desperately need peace,” Chris Palusky, World Vision’s Director for the Ukraine Crisis Response said. “For many children in Eastern Ukraine, this conflict hasn’t been going on for one year, it has been more than nine.”

Since February 2022, the situation in Ukraine has rapidly deteriorated. Almost 54 civilians have been killed or injured every day, and more than 17 million people in Ukraine need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Ukraine’s formal child protection system is overwhelmed by the scope of the crisis as many care professionals have left the country for their own safety. In addition, large refugee populations have placed an enormous strain on child protection systems where social workers and psychologists are not equipped to respond to the new demands of traumatised refugee families and children.

“Children are struggling to cope with trauma piled on top of trauma. Based on the experiences of other children and families affected by conflict, we can expect that over 1.5 million children in Ukraine may develop depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder or schizophrenia as a result of their experiences during the war,” Palusky continued.

“Their families are suffering the economic consequences of the conflict, and they cannot afford the things they used to. Over half (53%) of children are very concerned by movement restrictions. And education, so important for giving children a sense of normalcy, is all but impossible. Frequent power outages and air alarms are keeping many children out of school as they struggle to connect to online classes from bunkers.”

“Restoring a sense of normalcy for children is crucial, and all parties to the conflict must respect and uphold commitments to international humanitarian and human rights law. Without peace, children in Ukraine will continue to pay a severe mental, as well as physical, toll,” Palusky added.

World Vision’s Ukraine Crisis Response aims to reach more than 900,000 people, delivering through the provision of life-saving relief assistance, protection, and mental health and psychosocial and educational services.

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