Statement in response to the bombing of a children’s hospital
Responding to reports yesterday that a hospital, including a maternity ward and a pediatric ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, was bombed, Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children’s director for Eastern Europe, said:
“It is absolutely devastating that a children’s hospital, a place of refuge and safety, was bombed. This would show a total disregard for the fundamental rights of innocent children and would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.
“It is horrifying that a place where people seek help has become a place of absolute and utter destruction. Who can families and children turn to if even hospitals are unsafe? They must not become battlefields where conflicts rage and innocent children are the victims.
“Save the Children calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, as the only way to protect children from violence and other violations of their rights..”
Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, providing humanitarian aid to children and their families. This includes supporting access to education, distributing winter and hygiene kits and providing cash grants to families. Our specialists help children overcome the mental and psychological impacts of their experiences of conflict and violence and increase their ability to cope with stress in their daily lives.
The Children’s Emergency Fund enables Save the Children to respond where it is needed most to quickly reach children with the essentials they need to survive.
- Save the Children staff and volunteers are distributing food, water and hygiene items to refugees arriving at the Romania-Ukraine border and at reception centres.
- In Poland and Romania, provide child protection services, including targeted support for unaccompanied and separated children, psychosocial support and access to legal services.
- Save the Children works with refugee and migrant children inside and outside Europe, with the aim of supporting vulnerable children with the greatest needs.