8th April 2020
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UNICEF estimates 1.9 million IDPs in SS

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, September 23, 2019

A child carries his younger sister on his back. Both children are living on the street in Aweil, South Sudan [Photo credit: UNICEF]

The United Nations Children agency has called for increased support for parents forced to raise their babies and young children in conflict-affected areas.

On Friday, UNICEF in a report says last year, 29 million babies were born into conflict globally.

It says the children experience prolonged or repeated adverse and traumatic events, leading to lasting consequences for their learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.

In South Sudan, UNICEF estimates that there are 1.9 million internally displaced persons due to the conflict.

More than 50 percent of the IDPs are women and children, and at least 4.4 million children, below eight years old are affected not only by the conflict, but also are suffering due to the consequences of natural disasters.

Yves Willemot, the Chief of Communications for UNICEF South Sudan, says safe spaces should be provided for families and their children living through conflict.

He added that children can then use such spaces to play and learn as outlets for some of the trauma they have experienced during conflicts.

Mr. Willemot was speaking to Eye Radio over the phone on Saturday.

“We need to make sure that programs are taking place continuously to address these specific needs of children and young babies that are facing the consequences of conflicts and what comes out of the conflicts be it displacements and reduced access to basic services. We need to make sure that our programs and the governments programs respond to these needs.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which, among other things, governments pledged to protect and care for children affected by conflict.

Yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and well being of millions of children.

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