Children Internally Displaced by Conflict and Violence
Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of war. As reported by UNICEF, estimated 19 million children are internally displaced by conflict and violence in 2019. They suffer fear and disruption to every aspect of their lives. They are exposed to higher risk of sexual and physical violence, disease and malnutrition. As displaced persons or refugees they may experience severe poverty, abuse, exploitation, and psychosocial distress. (UNICEF, OCHA 2019)
COVID-19 poses a grave threat to these vulnerable children. They often live in overcrowded camps with limited access to basic hygiene and health services, and physical distancing is challenging. These conditions are conducive to the spread of diseases. They also face increased risk of child marriage and child labour in the as livelihoods are hard hit by the pandemic, forcing families to take desperate measures, which are often harmful to children, in order to survive (World Vision, 2021).
Currently, Gaza has seen tragic injuries, loss of human lives and extensive destruction of physical infrastructure. Already-high levels of psycho-social stress, especially among children, have been further exacerbated. To date, 1.9 million Palestinian people living in Gaza - of which more than 70 per cent are registered Palestinian refugees - are in urgent need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Covid-19 has further aggravated existing vulnerabilities in communities there (RLAF, 2021).
Key ways to help children impacted by humanitarian crisis (Global Citizen, 2021):
- Support Urgent Health Needs (Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps, UNRWA)
- Support Access to Education (UNICEF)
- Support Food Security (UNRWA)
- Support Equity For All (Norwegian Refugee Council, The International Legal Foundation)
- Sponsor a Child In Need (World Vision)
*Above organisations are just examples to support and not exhaustive.