24 Million Children At Risk In Mideast Conflicts, Says UNICEF


Copyright 2017 NPR. UNICEF warns that without new funding, over 1.3 million Libyan children won’t be vaccinated against measles or rubella. UNICEF also warns about power cuts and reduced water supplies in the Gaza Strip, where one million Palestinian children are in need of assistance. “Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, countless children are dying in silence from diseases that could easily be prevented and treated,” says Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Libya is second only to Syria on that front, with 20 attacks on health facilities in the past year. In Yemen, a two-year-long battle between a Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-backed rebels has pushed the country “to the brink of famine.” Cholera has broken out in most of the country and UNICEF says two-thirds of the Yemeni population use unsafe water. His staff put together some staggering statistics. More than two million children live under siege in Syria or in areas where aid groups struggle to reach. The battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS has trapped 85,000 children and water supplies in camps for the displaced are “stretched to the limit.” Overall, 5.1 million children are in need in Iraq. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Attacks on health facilities are commonplace too. The report says 8,000 cases of acute diarrhea have been recorded in conflict zones in Sudan. Conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa are putting over 24 million children at risk, according to alarming new research by the UN Children’s Fund.