UNICEF Flash Report: COVID-19 Impact on Children in Ukraine (August 3, 2020)


Key Highlights and Advocacy Points

• UNICEF is appealing to donors to increase their funding and support the most vulnerable children and their families during the pandemic in Ukraine. UNICEF is calling for joint efforts to prevent the pandemic from turning into a long-lasting child crisis. UNICEF is currently appealing for US$23 million for the COVID-19 response in Ukraine.

• The final examinations for school graduates have taken place across the country as scheduled, with the last exam on 17 July. Over 350,000 students have sat exams in 1,625 safe testing centres that received infection prevention supplies and informational materials on safe behavioural practices, provided with support from UNICEF and Ukrainian private sector.

• UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Policy have launched a pilot project to enhance the child protection of children who have returned from boarding institutions to their families because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Overview of Child Rights

Health and Nutrition

• WHO and UNICEF are calling for immediate action to vaccinate all children. In Ukraine, a large number of children have missed scheduled vaccinations due to the disruption of immunization programmes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine measures in many oblasts in spring 2020.

• According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MoH), as of 1 June, only 28.3 per cent of children aged 1 year received the first dose of the measles, rubella, and mumps vaccine (compared to 41.9 per cent for the same period of 2019).


• Schools remain closed for the summer holidays. Most preschool education facilities remain operational; however, they reportedly have very low attendance rates, not exceeding 30 per cent.

• The sporadic opening of the ‘contact line’ made it difficult for over 80 per cent of graduates from non-government-controlled areas to sit for the final examination in government-controlled areas of Ukraine.

• Parliament adopted changes to the current legislation providing more options for school graduates from non-government-controlled areas to continue their higher education in government-controlled areas of Ukraine.

• The Government has been actively discussing three scenarios for the reopening of schools from 1 September: