By Claire Manibog
The recent escalation of violence that began on July 8 killed more than 400 children and injured thousands. Here’s a look at some of the ways UNICEF is supporting children and their families affected by the conflict.
Rabee, a UNICEF-supported field worker, gives a doll to a wounded girl in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. More than 2,500 children in Gaza have been injured in the recent violence.
Today is World Humanitarian Day and in South Sudan an urgent humanitarian crisis is taking place but is still not front page news.
Months of conflict have displaced more than 1.5 million people and disrupted farming, trading, and the provision of social services, resulting in a nutrition emergency of dire proportions. While the world waits for the data that will determine an official declaration of famine, children are dying every day. We can’t wait until then.
Unless nutritional treatment is scaled up immediately, along with support for water, sanitation, health and food supplies, up to 50,000 children under the age of five could die needlessly in the course of the year.
We know what works. A sachet of therapeutic food costs only 54 cents. Three packs a day for a week can bring a child back to health again.
However to rapidly expand our operations and save more lives, we urgently need more resources.
Here are the stories of some of the children who desperately need your help:
By Razan Rashidi, UNICEF Communication Officer
“We walked for more than 20 hours with no food or water,” says Juan, an adolescent girl who arrived at Nawrouz refugee camp in north-east Syria three days ago, along with eight family members.
Juan is from the Yazidi minority group, many of whom are fleeing to Syria from the mountains of Sinjar in Iraq. Sinjar, a district of Ninewa in north-west Iraq with a population of at least 150,000 children – including many who are internally displaced – was taken over by the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) on Sunday.
Thousands of Yazidi families with many children are arriving daily to the newly established refugee camp inside Syria, 40 km from the Iraqi border. As of yesterday (August 12), around 5,000 families were estimated to be at the camp – children making up 60 per cent of the arrivals.
Yazidi children and families who have fled to Syria from Iraq are receiving emergency help, but more is urgently needed.
Africa, already the world’s second most populous continent with more than 1 billion people, is experiencing a demographic shift unprecedented in scale and swiftness, according to Generation 2030 Africa, a new report released by UNICEF on the continent’s child demographics.
Consider this – on current trends, in the next 35 years:
- 1.8 billion babies will be born in Africa;
- the continent’s under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion; and
- Africa’s overall population will double in size, reaching 2.4 billion.
By 2050, Africa is projected to be home to one in every four of the world’s inhabitants, and almost 40 per cent of its children under 18 years.
Investment in children is Africa’s best hope to set the right pre-conditions for this potentially massive and transformative demographic dividend.
Many of the youngest survivors of the latest conflict in Gaza are in desperate need of treatment – not only for serious physical injuries, but also for psychological wounds that may take even longer to heal.
By Catherine Weibel and Loulou d’Aki
The lives of many of Gaza’s children have been lost or changed forever after a month marked by death, destruction and fear.
For 12-year-old Mohammed Mousa, playing with his friends will never be the same.
Mohammed Mousa, 12, lies on a cot in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.