As Biden heads to Poland, Europe’s growing refugee crisis comes to the fore
One in two Ukrainian children has been displaced since Russia began its invasion on February 24, according to a statement from the United Nations Children’s Fund on Thursday.
The UNICEF statement adds that 4.3 million children have been displaced, which represents more than half of the Ukrainian child population, estimated at 7.5 million.
This figure includes more than 1.8 million children who have crossed into neighboring countries as refugees, and 2.5 million children who are also internally displaced in Ukraine, according to the statement.
“It’s mind-boggling,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder told CNN earlier this week. “Since the beginning of the war a month ago, of every boy and girl in the country, one in two has had to flee their homes.”
It’s a situation we haven’t seen before, not in living memory, and it’s almost impossible to deal with,” Elder said.
Elder said UNICEF is trying to get blankets, water purification tablets, generators, medical supplies and obstetric kits to the country for mothers giving birth.
“Unless the war stops, unless the indiscriminate attacks stop, we are going to see more children being uprooted from their homes and being bombed,” he added.
The news comes as US President Joe Biden has left Brussels and headed to the Polish-Ukrainian border region, where he is scheduled to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda for a briefing on relief efforts. humanitarian.
Biden’s visit to Poland will be the second stop on his war tour of Europe and is intended to highlight the massive refugee crisis that has unfolded since Russia’s war in Ukraine began a month ago, the White House said.
The president confirmed on Thursday that he hopes to meet with Ukrainian refugees during his stay in Poland. It is not clear, however, when or where those possible meetings will take place.
More than 3.5 million refugees have already fled Ukraine, according to data from the United Nations refugee agency published on Tuesday. The vast majority of those refugees have fled to Ukraine’s western neighbors across Europe.
Poland, which borders Ukraine to the west, has recorded more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees crossing into the country. However, the number of refugees remaining in Poland is smaller, as many continue their journey to other countries.
Meanwhile, the United States will take in up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression, a senior administration official announced Thursday.
“To meet this commitment, we are considering the full range of legal pathways into the United States,” the official said, including the US refugee admissions program, parole, and immigrant and non-immigrant visas.