Ukraine conflict leaves 600,000 in urgent need, says UNICEF

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Children swept up in violence in Ukraine. UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Six-hundred thousand people in Ukraine urgently need help because of the ongoing crisis according to UNICEF which says it needs another 32.4 million dollars to scale up its aid effort there.

Announcing the development on Friday UNICEF's Kristen Elsby said that children were "paying the highest price" for the conflict.

"We are very concerned that children are paying the highest price in this growing crisis in Ukraine…damaged infrastructure, water shortages and hampered access to medical facilities in the areas of ongoing fighting are putting children's lives at risk and their well-being in danger…. exposure to the violent fighting and shelling is affecting their psychological well-being and we remind all parties to the conflict that children must be protected from the violence." (26″)

Children are living in bunkers and bomb shelters in Donetsk, Ms Elsby told journalists in Geneva.

She added that on a recent trip to the city of Kharkiv in central Ukraine, she'd seen 500 people arriving there every day from Donetsk and Luhansk in the east.

In total 1.7 million children have been affected by the crisis, UNICEF believes.

The UN agency says almost 150 schools have closed in the east of the country and 100,000 children need psychological support to deal with the trauma of the ongoing crisis involving government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

According to latest UN figures at least 44 children have been killed in the conflict so far in 2014.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1’29″


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