In Chechnya today there are approximately 500,000 children between the ages of 0 and 17. The ongoing violence and the aftermath of two major wars have a profound effect on their lives. In a report in the Spring of 2003, the United Nations listed food as the greatest need facing Chechnya 's children, followed closely by shelter, and health care. The same report noted that over 40% of all Chechens live in poverty, and that 32% face severe difficulties in maintaining their basic food needs.
The destruction in Chechnya has left children at serious risk of disease, and no public health infrastructure to care for them. The risk from TB is particularly grave, and there are high rates of intestinal infections and hepatitis A, as well as growing rates of infection from whooping cough, mumps, and measles. A lack of clean drinking water, basic sanitation, and immunizations are the immediate causes of this situation.
A further threat to the children of Chechnya lies in the huge number of land mines and other unexploded ordinance spread throughout the region--thousands of children have been maimed so far