Save the Children Patron HRH The Princess Royal hears how the Ukraine conflict may put millions at risk of malnutrition in other parts of the world

HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of Save the Children, has spoken to the charity to learn more about how the impacts of the conflict in Ukraine may soon be felt in parts of Africa and the Middle East that were already facing rising levels of malnutrition. The Princess has supported the charity for more than 50 years.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/XDBuDbkjsWc?autoplay=0&modestbranding=1&rel=0

The escalating violence in Ukraine has left thousands dead and injured, and driven millions from their homes. In a video call with Save the Children, The Princess Royal heard that while so much attention was focused on Ukraine, it was important not to lose sight of a broader global conflict and hunger crisis which is putting millions of children’s lives in jeopardy.

Her Royal Highness heard how the consequences could be severe in countries that rely on wheat from Ukraine but are seeing supplies disrupted and prices soaring to record levels. Some regions, notably the Horn of Africa, are already facing critical levels of malnutrition caused largely by drought.

To mark one month since the beginning of the international armed conflict in Ukraine on 24th February 2022, Save the Children has released a video of The Princess Royal speaking to the charity’s UK Head of News, Dan Stewart, who is currently reporting from the Romanian border on the plight of refugees.

HRH The Princess Royal, said : "In every way, conflict is hugely destructive for children's lives.

"The network that Save the Children has makes an enormous difference to their ability to provide the appropriate level of support as far as it is possible to do so. And let's face it, in conflict zones, that is really difficult. I particularly appreciate the work that Save the Children volunteers are doing at this time."

Up to six million children are trapped inside Ukraine, many of them in imminent danger as an increasing number of hospitals and schools comes under attack. Children have been killed, injured and deprived of food, clean water and health care, as well as facing displacement, family separation, trauma and distress, loss of family income, and a prolonged interruption of their education.

Save the Children Romania responded to this emergency immediately and teams of volunteers have been working tirelessly to support families fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

Dan Stewart, Head of News at Save the Children UK, said: "So far the crisis in Ukraine has been extremely difficult because of the sheer level of violence, what we really need to see, the only thing that will keep children safe right now is a complete cessation of hostilities. The experience of children in war is relatively universal in a way, yet one of the critical things about this particular conflict, is the ripple effects that we're seeing outside of Ukraine and across the world."

The effects of conflict, climate change and Covid-19 have culminated in the world’s worst hunger crisis this century, with the number of people at risk of famine rising 60% since before the pandemic.

An estimated 45 million people across 43 countries are currently at risk of famine, up from 27 million in 2019. This includes children facing famine-like conditions in the Horn of Africa, Madagascar, South Sudan, and Yemen.

In addition to the devastation in Ukraine, there are 452 million children globally who are growing up amid conflict in countries such as Afghanistan, DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Today, a record number of children - 1 in 6 - are living in war zones around the world. Their lives are in danger and their futures are under threat.

HRH The Princess Royal became the Patron of Save the Children in 2017 after serving as the charity’s President since 1970. The Princess Royal spends a significant amount of time visiting Save the Children’s projects, both overseas and in the UK. She has travelled to Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.