GENEVA / UKRAINE WOMEN CHILDREN ALERT

06-May-2022 00:01:50
Ten weeks into the war in Ukraine, UN humanitarians on Friday said that they were urgently ramping up efforts to provide vulnerable children with specialist and psychosocial support, amid “tremendous” mental health needs and ongoing dangers linked to the Russian invasion and sexual and gender-based violence. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE WOMEN CHILDREN ALERT
TRT: 1:50
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 MAY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, exterior, Palais des Nations flag alley, a sunny day.
2. Wide shot, podium with moderator in Press briefing room, Palais des Nations.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s regional child protection advisor for Europe & Central Asia (via Zoom from Lviv):
“Since 24 February UNICEF and our partners have reached over 140,000 children and their caregivers with mental health and psychosocial services; but a vast majority of that, 95 percent, are direct engagements with children and trained psychologists.”
4. Med shot, journalist wearing facemask with large-screen TV to rear showing podium moderator and Mr. Greenberg speaking via Zoom from Ukraine.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s regional child protection advisor for Europe & Central Asia (via Zoom from Lviv):
“If you start doing the math, there are children who remain in institutions who were not evacuated either internally or externally, and there are children in foster care families whose payments were temporarily interrupted, and there are children in guardianship arrangements, a significant number, so when you layer this, the number of children in need who were vulnerable pre-crisis and whose now vulnerabilities have been accelerated, is incredibly high.”
6. Close up, participant wearing facemask and headphones, looking down, journalist wearing facemask to rear.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s regional child protection advisor for Europe & Central Asia (via Zoom from Lviv):
“UNICEF and other partners as well, but UNICEF is supporting 12 dedicated violence mobile teams in the east. To date, those mobile teams in the east have worked with 7,000 cases of women and children in terms of responding to specific violence-related queries and reports that the mobile team then follows up on.”
8. Wide shot, room showing journalists wearing facemasks, large-screen TV and TV camera on tripod with lighting panel.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s regional child protection advisor for Europe & Central Asia (via Zoom from Lviv):
“We’re anticipating numbers in terms of all forms of violence against children to be in the tens of thousands for sure.”
10. Close up, TV camera lens, blurred, with large-screen TV monitor to rear in focus showing moderator and Mr. Greenberg.
11. Med shot, participants, journalists wearing facemasks, side shot.
12. Med shot, participant’s face reflected in laptop.
STORYLINE
Ten weeks into the war in Ukraine, UN humanitarians on Friday (06 May) said that they were urgently ramping up efforts to provide vulnerable children with specialist and psychosocial support, amid “tremendous” mental health needs and ongoing dangers linked to the Russian invasion and sexual and gender-based violence.

“We’re anticipating numbers in terms of all forms of violence against children to be in the tens of thousands for sure,” said Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s regional child protection advisor for Europe & Central Asia.

Before 24 February, Ukraine’s orphanages, boarding schools and other institutions for youngsters housed more than 91,000 children, around half with disabilities. Today, only around one-third of that number have returned home, including those evacuated from the east and south, according to UN Children’s Fund UNICEF.

“The impact of the war on these children has been particularly devastating,” said Mr. Greenberg, speaking to journalists in Geneva via Zoom from Lviv. “Tens of thousands of children living in institutional or foster care have been returned to families, many of them hastily, as they war got started. Many have not received the care and protection they require, especially children with disabilities.”

Condemning the fact that hundreds of youngsters have been killed in shelling attacks already, the UN agency warned that others had suffered serious mental health trauma linked to “direct experience” of violence, both physical and sexual.

While insisting that many children “will bounce back” if they can get back to school and start seeing some form of “normalisation” in their lives, Mr. Greenberg warned that existing capacity to help them was stretched to breaking point.

“Since 24 February UNICEF and our partners have reached over 140,000 children and their caregivers with mental health and psychosocial services,” he continued. “But a vast majority of that, 95 per cent, are direct engagements with children and trained psychologists.”

Priorities for the UN agency include scaling up investments in local NGO mental health providers to help the youngsters still in care, in support of Ukrainian government policy.

But it is proving difficult to find enough professionals to help, “as social workers, child psychologists and other professionals are equally impacted by this conflict”, Mr. Greenberg continued.

“If you start doing the math, there are children who remain in institutions who were not evacuated either internally or externally, and there are children in foster care families whose payments were temporarily interrupted, and there are children in guardianship arrangements, a significant number, so when you layer this, the number of children in need who were vulnerable pre-crisis and whose now vulnerabilities have been accelerated, is incredibly high.”

Throughout Ukraine, UNICEF has 56 deployed mobile units to provide specialised health services to traumatised children. There are also 12 “dedicated violence mobile teams in the east”, where fighting is ongoing, Mr. Greenberg said. “To date, those mobile teams in the east have worked with 7,000 cases of women and children in terms of responding to specific violence-related queries and reports that the mobile team then follows up on.”
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