A mother with her two children describes fleeing their home in Kharkiv to escape the war in Ukraine.
Emergency Response

A Look at UNICEF's Impact in Ukraine After 500 Days of War — and Ongoing Commitment to Recovery

After 500 days of war in Ukraine, UNICEF is expanding efforts to support the government on an inclusive, child-centered and sustainable recovery. A look at the results of emergency response efforts to date.

Results of UNICEF's emergency response in and around Ukraine

Ukraine’s children and their families have endured 500 days of forced displacement, unthinkable loss and relentless violence. At least 535 children have been killed and at least 1,095 children injured since the war escalated in February 2022.

UNICEF is inside Ukraine and in refugee-hosting countries working with partners to meet urgent needs while also supporting system strengthening and recovery efforts — always putting children first. 

Inside Ukraine, UNICEF teams are on the ground to provide, sustain and expand critical services in health care and immunization, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and mental health and psychosocial support. 

With funding from donors, alongside partners, UNICEF has reached millions of people in need inside the country.

UNICEF also continues to work with governments and local authorities and partners in refugee-hosting countries to help strengthen their education, health and protection systems — not just to benefit Ukrainian refugee children but also vulnerable, marginalized children in the host communities.

Essential health care, safe water, education

So many of Ukraine's kindergartens, schools, hospitals and critical water and energy systems have been damaged or destroyed by shelling, cutting off children's access to education and health care and putting lives at risk.

Half of all children in Ukraine are struggling to learn, remotely or through a mix of online and in-person classes. Hundreds of thousands of the country’s preschool-age children have yet to set foot inside a classroom.

Since February 2022, UNICEF has:

  • reached over 7.3 million children and women with essential primary health care, either in facilities, through mobile health teams or via other UNICEF-supported mechanisms
  • helped nearly 5.6 million people inside Ukraine — plus another 118,625 people in countries hosting refugees — access safe water
  • provided formal or non-formal education, including early learning, to over 3.2 million children in need
10-year-old Bohdan of Ukraine, who hasn't been able to go to school since the war started.
"We are always afraid of something," says Bohdan, 10, of Izyum, eastern Ukraine. "And the worst thing is shelling, especially when it hits your house. Also, it is tough when we have absolutely no food and have to ask people for it.” Bohdan lives with his grandmother and two sisters in a damaged brick house, and dreams of safety and a chance to study. © UNICEF/UNI409287/

Mental health and psychosocial support

Nearly two-thirds of Ukraine’s children have been forced to flee their homes. Some have fled alone, exposing them to heightened risks of abuse, kidnapping, sexual exploitation and trafficking. 

Grief, fear and anxiety from exposure to violence, the loss of loved ones, displacement and family separation are a fact of daily life, leaving children traumatized and struggling to cope.

Since February 2022, UNICEF has helped close to 3.5 million children and caregivers in Ukraine — and 1.7 million children and caregivers living in refugee host countries — access mental health and psychosocial support.

Anastasia, 33, and her children: Andrii, 11, Mykhailo, 13, and Olia, 7 in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, June 16, 2023.
"Having many children during the war is both a great joy and a very difficult thing,” says Anastasia, mother of five, including Mira, born in February 2023. “Without help, I probably wouldn't have been able to cope either financially or emotionally." Above, her eldest holds a box of supplies from UNICEF, containing a hygiene kit, toys, school supplies and diapers. UNICEF's mobile team will also visit the family from time to time so that the children can talk to a psychologist. The family breeds rabbits and owns a goat. Anastasia believes that the animals have helped her children to cope with the stress of war. Read more. © UNICEF/UNI404144/Filippov

UNICEF depends on donors to help sustain and expand efforts to help the children of Ukraine

UNICEF relies on donor support to continue emergency relief and recovery efforts. Many refugees from the war remain without access to critical services and support. With long-term displacement comes anti-refugee sentiments that could fuel further exclusion and deprivation.

Artur, 2, whose family spent a month hiding in their basement in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, before fleeing west and away from constant bombardments.
Two-year-old Artur's family spent a month hiding in their basement in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, before fleeing west and away from constant bombardments. Read his story. © UNICEF/UNI409282/

You can help. UNICEF responds to an average of 300 emergencies every year — assisting vulnerable children and families impacted by conflict, climate change, natural disasters and other crises. An unrestricted donation is the best way to help UNICEF expand its reach and increase its impact around the world. Donate today.



TOP PHOTO: Yuliia and her children fled Kharkiv for Germany, spending a week on the road, sleeping on the floor of an industrial building, on wooden benches or in the car — “Still better than under fire,” Yuliia said. She only wants the war to be over, so the family can return home to Ukraine. “I decided to leave my home and our entire life with only one goal: to save my children. And to survive.” © UNICEF/UNI409285/Filippov