Statement by Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif on Deadly Attack on School in Ukraine

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Child's drawing of the Ukraine flag

Education Cannot Wait joins the international community in calling for an immediate end to all attacks against children, teachers and schools following the bombing of a school in Bilohorivka, Luhansk region, Ukraine, in which dozens are feared dead, including amongst those taking shelter there.

“I am appalled and outraged by the ongoing senseless violence and brutality perpetrated against children, teachers and education facilities in Ukraine. Attacks on children and education facilities constitute grave violations of international law. No matter who or where they are, every effort must be made at all times to ensure the safety and protection of education facilities and to ensure that children can grow up and learn in safety.” 

“Respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, as well as respect for the Safe Schools Declaration, is crucial to our collective humanity. All children have the right to quality education at all times. Schools, children and teachers must never be targets and must be protected at all times.”

“The war is putting the lives of millions of Ukraine children and adolescents at grave risk, with their childhoods upended and their schooling disrupted. Recent estimates indicate that 5.7 million refugees have fled Ukraine, with an additional 7 million people internally displaced. According to latest reports, more than 900 education facilities have been destroyed or damaged in the fighting. Ensuring that both girls and boys can return to school safely, both inside and outside of Ukraine, must be a priority.”

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed and wish a swift and full recovery to all who were injured.”

ECW Ukraine Emergency Response: Expanding on ECW’s US$5 million Ukraine First Emergency Response grant announced in March, ECW announced in April a new, initial US$1.5 million allocation to support the education in emergencies response for the Ukraine refugee crisis in Moldova. This new allocation brings ECW’s total Ukraine crisis education response to US$6.5 million to date. ECW works with governments, donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations and other strategic partners to ensure continuity of education for children impacted by the crisis.

About our Director

ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif
Yasmine Sherif

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