Statement on Ukraine conflit from World Vision
Children at heightened risk of trauma and exploitation in Ukraine
Heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes across Ukraine have had devastating consequences for ordinary people. Over 2 million people have fled the country in recent days, with millions more projected, and many more have had to leave their homes to escape the fighting.
DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and across the border in the neighbouring countries. They are working to meet the immediate needs of all people fleeing with food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care.
28 February 2022
International aid organisation, World Vision, has today warned of the detrimental psychological impact the ongoing crisis in Ukraine will have on children and families. The child-focused NGO, which has been present in Eastern Europe for decades, is scaling up its operation in response to refugees entering Romania from Ukraine and plans to provide psychological first aid for children who have been traumatised by this conflict, as well as basic relief supplies for refugees.
World Vision has also expressed concern about children potentially being separated from their parents and families during displacement from their homes and communities, exposing them to heightened risks of violence, exploitation, and abuse.
Our response to the crisis in Eastern Europe
In Moldova, World Vision is setting up partnerships with local NGOs to coordinate and support refugee hosting efforts. The agency is also planning to provide educational continuity to Ukrainian children who now have no access to education. Discussions are underway with several partners to support their work inside Ukraine as well.
Eleanor Monbiot OBE, World Vision’s Regional Leader for Middle East and Eastern Europe, says:
“We are genuinely concerned about the growing humanitarian and psychological needs of the children and families most affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The situation is changing rapidly, but we are seeing in Ukraine, as we have seen in other conflicts around the world, that there is a growing psychological impact on children and families.
“Due to this, as well as distributing aid packages, including hygiene and child-friendly kits, World Vision is in Romania and planning a cross border response in Moldova to prepare essential support to refugees. We will start by providing practical things like water and other supplies, but we are also looking at offering psychological first aid to children and individuals arriving from Ukraine. Building on our significant local expertise in Romania, we will also be supporting educational continuity for children. In conflict situations the world over we have found that this helps to restore a sense of normality and create better coping mechanisms during what might very well become a protracted crisis.
“We are growing increasingly concerned about the real possibility of children being separated from their parents and families during displacement. Children forced to flee their homes, and especially those then without the protection of a caregiver, are incredibly vulnerable to exploitation and violence.
“The children and families impacted by this conflict need urgent support, and we are calling on people to help by donating to World Vision’s Ukraine crisis response.”
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