MENA: children continue suffering for the armed conflicts

A baby in the nursery at Alsadaqah Hospital, Yemen. A baby in the nursery at Alsadaqah Hospital, Yemen. © UNICEF/Saleh Baholis

18 November 2022

A few days ago, UNICEF reported that across the MENA region, children are one of the main targets of the protracted violence and armed conflicts.  

On the 18th of November, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) appealed to the international community to stop the never-ending violence perpetrated in the Middle East and North Africa region, which are affecting countless children. The UN agency reported that, since the start of the year, every week almost 10 children have been killed in different countries, such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Overall, the data about this issue is alarming, as it has been estimated that over 580 children have been killed in the region since January.

Particularly, this week several cases of children’s killing have been stated. In Northern Syria, in the Al-Hol camp for displaced people, where many of the victims are relatives of former terrorist fighters, two young girls were found brutally killed. Moreover, the expiration of the UN-supported truce in Yemen led to a further increase in armed attacks, leaving children and their families unprotected. Unfortunately, the same thing happened in the Blue Nile and West Kordofan States, in Sudan, where the most vulnerable categories of civilians – women and children – continue to be the most targeted by the armed conflict.

Concerning these latest events, UNICEF emphasized the importance of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and stressed out that “The right of children to be protected from violence should be upheld at all times and by all parties to conflicts”.


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by Alexia Tenneriello

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