Ukraine crisis humanitarian need grows with children at heightened risk of trauma and exploitation

Children and families head to the Romanian border from Ukraine
Sunday, February 27, 2022
  • World Vision warns of psychological impact on children caused by conflict and will prioritise psychosocial support 
  • The NGO warns that children separated from parents are at high risk of exploitation    
  • World Vision is also distributing emergency aid packages and calls for donations to support aid response    

For immediate release 

International aid organisation, World Vision, has today warned of the detrimental psychological impact the ongoing crisis in Ukraine will have on children and families. The child-focused NGO, who has been present in Eastern Europe for decades, is scaling up its operation in response to refugees entering Romania from Ukraine and plans to provide psychological first aid for children who have been traumatised by this conflict, as well as basic relief supplies for refugees.  

World Vision has also expressed concern about children potentially being separated from their parents and families during displacement from their homes and communities, exposing them to heightened risks of violence, exploitation, and abuse. 

In Moldova, World Vision is setting up partnerships with local NGOs to coordinate and support refugee hosting efforts. The agency is also planning to provide educational continuity to Ukrainian children who now have no access to education. Discussions are underway with several partners to support their work inside Ukraine as well.  

Eleanor Monbiot OBE, World Vision’s Regional Leader for Middle East and Eastern Europe, says: 

“We are genuinely concerned about the growing humanitarian and psychological needs of the children and families most affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The situation is changing rapidly, but we are seeing in Ukraine, as we have seen in other conflicts around the world, that there is a growing psychological impact on children and families.  

“Due to this, as well as distributing aid packages, including hygiene and child-friendly kits, World Vision is on the ground in Romania and planning a cross border response in Moldova to prepare essential support to refugees. We will start by providing practical things like water and other supplies, but we are also looking at offering psychological first aid to children and individuals arriving from Ukraine. Building on our significant local expertise in Romania, we will also be supporting educational continuity for children. In conflict situations the world over we have found that this helps to restore a sense of normality and create better coping mechanisms during what might very well become a protracted crisis. 

“We are growing increasingly concerned about the real possibility of children being separated from their parents and families during displacement. Children forced to flee their homes, and especially those then without the protection of a caregiver, are incredibly vulnerable to exploitation and violence. 

“The children and families impacted by this conflict need urgent support, and we are calling on people to help by donating to World Vision’s Ukraine crisis response.” 


For further information or to organise an interview, please contact: Leah Donoghue at  

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World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision.