UEFA awards 1 million euros to charity initiatives focused on helping Ukrainian children

The UEFA Foundation for Children will grant 1 million euros ($1.11 million) to charity initiatives focusing on children in Ukraine affected by Russia's invasion, the president of European soccer's governing body, Aleksander Ceferin, said on Tuesday.

More than 660,000 people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries such as Poland and Romania since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation".

"Children are very vulnerable during conflicts and it is our duty to help defend their fundamental rights and their health," Ceferin, who is also the chairman of the foundation, said in a statement.

The foundation will grant a further 100,000 euro emergency aid fund to the Football Association of Moldova, which is working with humanitarian organisations to help children and refugees who have fled Ukraine.

"We are going through unprecedented times, with thousands of Ukrainian families seeking shelter in our country," Football Association of Moldova president Leonid Oleinicenco said.

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The emergency aid fund will also partly be used to provide children's hospitals in Ukraine with medicines and supplies.

($1 = 0.8984 euros)

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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