On 20 April 2020 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, a man places his hand to the window of a train car as he says goodbye to his wife and children before they depart on a special evacuation train.

Since the escalation of the war in Ukraine starting on 24 February, Kharkiv has been under constant attack with shelling and nearby fighting on the outskirts of the city. Portions of the city, the second largest in Ukraine, have no running water, electricity, or access to food. Air strikes and shelling have destroyed schools, hospitals and homes, and have killed or wounded thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands have escaped the city, and at least 15,000 people have sheltered in Soviet-era metro stations, designed to withstand nuclear blasts, for almost two months. Food is scarce, and there is no heat.

Hostilities and widespread destruction across Ukraine have not stopped. As of 18 April, according to reports confirmed by OHCHR, 2,072 civilians have been killed, including 169 children. In addition, 272 girls and boys have been injured. 7.7 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, including more than 2.8 million children. Over 12 million people have fled their homes, more than a quarter of the total population. Nearly 5 million have left the country.,

Attacks on hospitals, health centres, and places of learning are endangering the lives and futures of Ukrainian children. WHO has recorded at least 150 attacks on healthcare facilities between 24 February and 19 April. Areas of Eastern Ukraine continue to be the hardest hit, facing considerable damages to essential infrastructure and continuing civilian casualties, including a recent devastating attack on the Kramatorsk railway station.

As the humanitarian situation across the country continues to deteriorate, UNICEF estimates that 3 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance within Ukraine. Essential services have been severely disrupted and families have lost their homes, belongings, livelihoods and sourc