The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Thursday met aid workers including from Save the Children to hear about the impact of the humanitarian response to the crisis in Ukraine which has forced 4.8 million children from their homes.
The royal couple was welcomed to the London headquarters of The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a group of 15 member charities, which has raised more than £300 million (US$390 million) to help families affected by the crisis over the weeks, months, and years ahead.
More than five million people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries since violence escalated on 24 February and a further 7.1 million are displaced within the country. Latest figures put the number of deaths at 2,224 with more than 450 children killed or injured.
Speaking to Prince William and Kate Middleton via video link from Kyiv, Save the Children staff working in Ukraine described the current situation and the assistance being given to people. Save the Children said that the DEC funds have helped the organisation to scale up existing work in the country.
Rachael Cummings, Health Lead for Save the Children in Ukraine, said:
“We’re building our response to providing mobile health units, trauma kits, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, nutrition support and safe drinking water to respond to this crisis. We’re particularly concerned about the devastating effect on children and these funds mean that we can ensure that children receive high quality care and support now, and in the months ahead.”
Save the Children is one of 13 of DEC’s 15 members responding or planning to respond in Ukraine or in neighbouring countries. Some work through trusted local partners. The other 12 are Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, and World Vision UK.
Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering essential humanitarian aid to children and their families. We are distributing essential supplies, providing cash grants, and working to ensure that children are protected and can access a quality education. Save the Children teams in Poland have supported children through their Child Friendly Spaces, as well as psychosocial support and centres with their partners. In Lithuania, family support teams provide children and their care-takers with emergency support, baby arrival kits and individual psychology sessions. In Romania, Save the Children staff and volunteers continue to help refugees arriving from Ukraine at the border and in reception centres with the provision of basic non-food items, information, mental health support and other outreach services.
Across Europe, Save the Children teams are greeting refugee children and their families and providing them with immediate support upon arrival. Save the Children is running child-friendly spaces in reception areas and other migration hubs across Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, providing psychosocial support to children and a safe place to play while their parents seek essential services.