Pregnant women, women with small children and children with special needs are among the most vulnerable groups of the Ukrainian citizens. For women affected by conflict and displacement, the risk of maternal mortality is particularly high.
Conflict also seriously affects the health of children: most children die during conflict not directly from weapons, but from curable diseases that spread much faster in the context of a collapsed health care system and medical infrastructure. Conflicts and relocations harm both the psyche of mothers and children.
Displaced women and girls at high risk of unwanted pregnancie, miscarriages, newborn complications, unsafe abortion and childbirth, sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation, early and forced marriage, and HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
Comparative poverty of internally displaced persons and their families is found regardless of their level of education and professional qualifications.
Social financial support is the main source of income for mothers, and parental support, even if provided, is insufficient to cope with the situation. The processing of social payments is a tough bureaucratic procedure, and these payments are often delayed by several months.
Unfavorable financial conditions create a potential health risk environment for internally displaced mothers and their children and directly contribute to poor nutritional practices: some internally displaced mothers only eat bread and pasta to save money.
This is an alarming trend: it is generally known that an unbalanced diet can cause a deficiency of essential micronutrients in the body and negatively affect the physical and cognitive development of a child.
Poor financial conditions are forcing displaced mothers to abandon preventive medicine, instead trying to avoid diseases on their own so as not to pay for medicines and medical services.
A new report from the UN Children's Fund says that last year 19 million children were forced to flee their homes due to wars, conflicts and natural disasters, became refugees in their own countries - this is more than in previous years. Fund experts warn that displaced children are even more vulnerable to COVID-19.
The report "Lost Homes" highlighted the many hardships children from internally displaced families endure: many do not go to school, cannot see a doctor, live in appalling conditions in overcrowded camps and sleep in unheated tents.
According to UNICEF, 12 million children became internal refugees in 2019 alone, of which about 3.8 million as a result of conflict and violence and 8.2 million due to natural disasters.
In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the conflict affects children in eastern Ukraine. The authors of the report report that young residents of this country, who have become internally displaced persons, do not always eat well, since, due to the lack of funds, many families save on everything, including food.
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