On 7 October, 6-year-old Maksim, an orphan who has been displaced from the city of Bryanka in Luhansk Oblast (Region), sits in a room at an accommodation centre for people displaced by the country’s continuing conflict, in the Pushcha Vodytsia neighbourhood in Kyiv, the capital. Maksim seldom speaks but, when he does, he talks about his mother, who is currently in his home town, and his 1-month old sister. Some 40 displaced children from areas affected by the conflict are currently living at the accommodation centre.

By 13 October 2014 in Ukraine, at least 3,682 people had been killed and 8,871 had been wounded in the country’s continuing conflict. More than 402,000 people have also been internally displaced, and an estimated 5.1 million people are living in conflict-affected areas. Over 427,000 people have also sought refuge in neighbouring countries. The fighting has destroyed or disrupted essential infrastructure and basic services, leaving affected populations vulnerable and in need of urgent support. Ongoing insecurity and a lack of safe access are also hampering the provision of humanitarian aid. Despite the current ceasefire, serious ceasefire violations continue to be reported daily, and shelling has intensified in areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts – two of the five provinces most affected by the conflict. In response to the continuing fighting, UNICEF is supporting health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, and child protection interventions, including: the provision of vaccines and essential medicines; the distribution of drinking water and ongoing water treatment to provide safe water; the delivery of child and adult hygiene kits, early childhood development (ECD) kits and school kits; and the establishment of child-friendly spaces to provide psychosocial support for children affected by the conflict.