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SPECIAL REPORT

Nowhere To Go: Iraqi kids trapped in cycles of violence, poverty

GENEVA, June 22, 2017

Three years since the intensification of violence in Iraq, children are trapped in an endless cycle of violence and increasing poverty and continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence, according to a UN Children's Fund (Unicef) report.
 
Three years since the intensification of violence in Iraq, children are trapped in an endless cycle of violence and increasing poverty, according to a UN Children's Fund (Unicef) assessment, "Nowhere to Go."

“Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence,” remarked Peter Hawkins, the Unicef Representative in Iraq. “They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one of the most brutal wars in recent history.”
 
In west Mosul, children are being deliberately targeted and killed to punish families and deter them from fleeing the violence. In less than two months, at least 23 children have been killed and 123 have been injured in that part of the city alone.
 
Since 2014, in Iraq:
 
•1,075 children have been killed, 152 in the first six months of 2017,
•1,130 children have been maimed and injured, 255 in the first six months of 2017,
•Over 4,650 children have become separated or unaccompanied by their families,
•There have been 138 attacks on schools and 58 attacks on hospitals,
•Over 3 million children don’t attend school on a regular basis while 1.2 million children are out of school,
•One in every four children comes from a poor household,
•More than 5 million children are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
 
For nearly four decades, Iraq has faced violence, war, sanctions and instability. But in the last three years alone, conflict has displaced three million people - half of them children.

Many parts of the country were turned into war zones with civilian infrastructure severely damaged or destroyed. Half of all schools in Iraq are now in need of repairs.
 
As life opportunities for children dwindle, Unicef continues to respond to the growing needs of children and their families.

But with no end in sight to the ongoing violence in Iraq, Unicef is appealing for an immediate end to the conflict.

All warring parties owe it to the children of Iraq to put an end to the violence, it stated.

The UN body is also seeking safe access for all children affected by the crisis, wherever they are, to unimpeded and sustained humanitarian assistance and basic services.

It is also demanding an end to all grave violations against children, including killing, maiming and recruitment, and an end to attacks on civilian infrastructure.

The other major demands of the Unicef include:
•Freedom of movement for all families who wish to flee to safety or return to their homes,
•Access to legal protection and services for all children in detention and treatment in line with international standards of juvenile detention,
•Increased investments to improve the quality of education, healthcare and protection services for all children,

The Unicef has also called for sustained contributions for humanitarian response as if faces a funding gap of $100 million for lifesaving emergency operations in Iraq and for support to children returning to their homes and resuming their lives.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Unicef | violence | poverty |

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