By Fatih Erel
Around 420,000 more children in Ukraine will need humanitarian aid in 2017, UNICEF said on Friday.
The UN’s children’s fund also said one in five out of 740 schools in eastern Ukraine had been damaged or destroyed outright in the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian rebels.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac said lost incomes, social benefits and healthcare access were putting children at risk.
The cost of living had also risen sharply, Boulierac added.
"The situation is particularly grave for the approximately 200,000 girls and boys living within 15 kilometers [9 miles] on each side of the 'contact line' in eastern Ukraine, a line which divides government and non-government controlled areas where fighting is most severe," Boulierac said.
UNICEF called for an immediate ceasefire within the framework of Minsk Agreement signed in August 2015.