Half of Ukrainian children now refugees– UNICEF, as WHO confirms 64 attacks by Russian forces on hospitals


As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine officially enters one month, Thursday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says half of the country’s children, or 4.3 million of an estimated 7.5 million, have now fled their homes, including about 1.8 million refugees who have left the country.

Ukraine school house converted to a hospital

The children are everywhere, curled up amid suitcases in train stations, humanitarian aid tents, evacuation convoys. It is one of the largest such displacements since World War II.

Meanwhile, health care institutions in Ukraine have been attacked 64 times since Russia invaded the country on Thursday, February 24, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed, Thursday.

These attacks, equating to two to three every day, had caused 15 deaths and 37 injuries, the international health body said in a statement.

WHO condemns these attacks in the strongest terms.

“Attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law but a disturbingly common tactic of war.

“They destroy critical infrastructure but worse, they destroy hope,” said Jarno Habicht, the WHO’s representative in Ukraine.

After one month of war in Ukraine, the Copenhagen-based WHO Europe Office said that access to health services was severely restricted and the need for treatment of trauma and chronic diseases was great.

“Destroyed health infrastructure and broken medical supply chains pose a serious threat to millions of people,” the statement said.

It added that about every second pharmacy in Ukraine is thought to be closed.

According to WHO, almost seven million people have been displaced within Ukraine.

The number of those who have fled to neighbouring countries is quickly approaching the four million mark.

Many health care workers have been displaced or are unable to work.