Every war is a war against children. In the following sections you will find a non-exhaustive and compact summary of Save the Children's activities in Ukraine, neighbouring countries and in Switzerland.

Save the Children provides humanitarian aid in Ukraine and in the neighboring countries.

Humanitarian aid since 2014

Having a huge network worldwide, Save the Children is always amongst the first humanitarian organisations to provide life-saving aid for children and their families on the ground in emergencies and crisis, and has been active in Ukraine since 2014.

Children in eastern Ukraine have already suffered eight years of shelling and violence. Many have been driven from their homes. Airstrikes and explosions have damaged important facilities such as schools and hospitals. Since 24th February, 2022 alomst six million people have crossed the borders from Ukraine into neighbouring countries – including about three million children. The impact of the conflict on children is devastating. As this war rages, our crisis response in Ukraine aims to reach 3.5 million vulnerable children and their families.

5.37 Mio.

People have already fled Ukraine.*

Current: Life-saving help on site

Ukraine

Our current 24 national staff and 12 international staff are working from various locations in Ukraine including our previous areas of operation in Kiev, Donetsk and Sloviansk. We have set up new bases in Lviv, Chernivtsi and Uzghurod and we are working our way via Vinnytsya to Dinipro in the East. We have on-boarded 23 new partners through which we work in Zaporizhia, Kremenchug and Poltava and in different towns in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.

Our new footprint gives us logistical staging hubs all the way from Lviv, Uzghurod, Chernivtsi and Odessa in the south-west of Ukraine to the main cities around the contact line in the east. The team has delivered food assistance in Chernitsvi and 230 tonnes of high-energy biscuits are on their way to Odessa.

In Mykolaiv, in the heavily contested south of Ukraine, we are supporting the children’s hospital with urgently needed medical equipment and supplies. Together with our partner Crown Agents, a non-profit international development company in Ukraine, we are delivering more than 60,000 sets of first aid materials for distribution to hospitals and other primary care providers. These medical supplies are used to stop bleeding and treat injuries, including bandages and tourniquets. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, they are among the most urgent items currently needed to treat the many injured.

In Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region about 200 km north of Mariupol, we initially provided 9,000 litres of drinking water for about 1,300 families. The delivery is part of our aid around clean water and hygiene measures, which we coordinate together with other aid organisations in Ukraine. Where it is needed, we set up drinking water vending machines or distribute large drinking water canisters and water bottles, as in Kramatorsk.

Save the Children supports the Ukrainian authorities, among other things, in improving the country’s online learning system so that children continue to have access to education. But the internet is poor when children are on the run or in disputed areas – they have no chance of getting any classes. That is why we are also distributing packages of toys and teaching materials to children who cannot leave their refuge and setting up digital learning centres in emergency shelters.

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School facilities have been destroyed An average of 22 schools a day have come under attack in Ukraine, with military operations disrupting the education of 5.5 million children remaining in the country, Save the Children said today. At least 869 education facilities – or about 6% of all schools in the country – have been damaged with 83 completely destroyed, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science.

Romania

There are five asylum centres in Romania. Save the Children provides social, recreational and educational services in the form of child-friendly spaces and mother-baby areas in asylum centres, reception centres and major transport hubs such as Bucharest North Railway Station. The team has set up more child-friendly spaces at the Siret border crossing and at the Romexpo convention centre in Bucharest, which is being converted into a shelter for refugees.

Save the Children also provides ongoing support to asylum seekers in the reception and processing centres, including activities in child-friendly spaces, psychosocial counselling, and material support.

Furthermore, food, sim cards for phones, toys, nappies and other hygiene items are distributed to the children and their carers, as well as psychosocial support and child protection.

We have been able to reach about 40,000 people, including 22,000 children, with our help so far. In the Republic of Moldova, which has taken in the most refugees per capita, we sent mainly hygiene products from Romania, which were distributed in about 100 refugee shelters.

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More than 736 000 people have already been forced to flee across the border into Romania.*

Poland

In Poland, we established a country office within a few weeks and have been registered there as a foundation since mid-April 2022. This allows us to help more quickly and effectively. We also support refugee families in Poland with cash payments so that they can provide themselves with the most basic necessities.

Near Krakow, together with a local partner, we have opened a Ukrainian school where refugee children can continue their studies. In six reception centres along the Polish-Ukrainian border, children can recover from the strains of flight and their often traumatic experiences and play together in peace in our safe shelters and play areas.

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Over 4.31 million people have already been forced to flee across the border to Poland.*

Lithuania

In Lithuania there is a temporary migrant centre in Alytus (city between the Polish border and Vilnius): This is the starting point for migrants who do not know where to go. In this migrant centre, Save the Children works with other NGOs, the Ministry of Interior, with the border police as well as the local municipality. Migrants can stay here for a short time, sleep, receive food and necessities. Furthermore, A call centre has been set up so that refugees who are at a loss can get in touch.

Save the Children has the official mandate to care for children and pregnant women. Among other things, child-friendly rooms are set up for this purpose. In Alytus, there is a local day-care centre for children, which is run by Save the Children.In Marijampole, a second migration centre is planned by the government.

Another child-friendly space is opened in Kaunas. Save the Children works in all six registration centres. The team distributes essential non-food items and provides social and referral services.

Switzerland

Since February 2022, over 55.000 refugees from Ukraine got registered in Switzerland. The rapid increase in refugee arrivals and the uncertainty regarding the duration of the war put considerable pressure on the Swiss asylum system. This has implications for the protection and well-being of all refugee children, whereby children with special needs and unaccompanied by their parents being particularly vulnerable. Save the Children supports refugee children from Ukraine in Switzerland with the following activities:

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1. Empowerment of refugee children through creative activities Many parents speak about their children feeling restlessness, being afraid and experiencing further psychological stress due to their experiences and the current situation. Unfortunately, asylum centers often lack places for children to play or relax. Thus, Save the Children Switzerland supports asylum shelters in Switzerland with family kits (learning & play instructions, pencils, etc.), information materials in Ukrainian or Russian (relaxation exercises, etc.) and with trauma kits.

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2. Strengthening child protection and child-friendly accommodation Currently, new temporary shelters are being opened at a rapid pace, but sometimes in buildings that are not suitable for children. We strengthen child protection by conducting consultations on making facilities more child-friendly and provide material and technical support for the implementation of the improvement measures.

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3. Professional support For host families that accommodate minors and families, there are no binding national standards that could be implemented or verified in such a large number of host families and in a short period of time. Therefore, we support organizations, who accompany host families or establish further accommodation or care services, with our professional expertise.

Further, our aim is to respond to the needs of all refugee children and their families by expanding our work in the coming years with regard to child-friendly accommodation and care standards in the asylum sector (e.g. accompanying the establishment of child-friendly spaces and activities, and strengthening low-threshold parental work in the asylum sector) as well as develop minimum standards for all refugee children in Switzerland. This will benefit Ukrainian as well as all other refugee children and their families.

*Source: UNHCR – http://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine