Some 1.4 million children have now fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, meaning nearly one child a second has become a refugee, the UN said Tuesday.
Fresh numbers from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) showed Tuesday that more than three million people have now fled Ukraine. Nearly half of them are thus children.
“On average, every day over the last 20 days in Ukraine, more than 70,000 children have become refugees,” James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told reporters in Geneva.
That amounts to around 55 every minute, “so almost one per second,” he said, stressing that “this crisis in terms of speed and scale is unprecedented since World War II.”
Elder warned that “like all children driven from their homes by war and conflicts, Ukrainian children arriving in those border countries are at significant risk of family separation, of violence, of sexual exploitation and trafficking.
“They’re in desperate need of safety, stability, and child protection services,” he said.