27, Dec 2017 | CJP Team
UNICEF said in an announcement that eastern Ukraine “is now one of the most mine-contaminated places on earth, endangering 220,000 who live, play” and attend school “in areas littered with landmines, unexploded ordnance and other deadly explosive remnants of war”. “It is unacceptable that places where children could safely play less than four years ago are now riddled with deadly explosives,” UNICEF Ukraine representative Giovanna Barberis said. UNICEF said that available data for January to November 2017 indicate that, on average, there was “one conflict-related child casualty” per week “along eastern Ukraine’s contact line,” which separates the government-controlled region from the non-government controlled one, and which is where the fighting in the Ukraine conflict is most intense. Two-thirds of all documented wounds and deaths of children in this period were a result of landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and explosive remnants of war (ERW), UNICEF said. According to the agency, it and its partners have reached over a half million children in eastern Ukraine through the Mine Risk Education programme; UNICEF said it has also supplied psychosocial support for 270,000 children who have been impacted by the conflict.