13 July 2017 – UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Iraq, Hamida Ramadhani, said: “Although the battle for Mosul is coming to an end, children’s deep physical and mental scars will take time to heal. Some 650,000 boys and girls, who have lived through the nightmare of violence in Mosul, have paid a terrible price and endured many horrors over the past three years.
“Some children continue to suffer in the pockets of violence that persist in the old part of west Mosul. One doctor we spoke to told us that infants as young as one week old, children and mothers were emerging wounded and covered in dust and soil, some were malnourished. The toll children are paying from living for nearly ten months under heavy fighting.
“In the past three days, UNICEF and its partners have seen an increase in the number of extremely vulnerable unaccompanied children arriving at medical facilities and reception areas. Some babies brought in have been found alone in the debris.
“Unaccompanied infants and children who arrive at trauma centres and assembly points are immediately referred to UNICEF and other humanitarian organisations so they can be assisted and where possible reunified with their families.
“The needs and the future of children must remain a top priority in the weeks and months to come. UNICEF reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict in Iraq to treat all children as children, wherever they are born, whoever they belong to. Now is the time for them to recover, overcome their trauma, reunite with their families and reclaim some of their lost childhood.”
Notes to editors
- UNICEF, working with partners, has managed to reunify 1,333 unaccompanied or separated children from Mosul with their families. UNICEF is also distributing emergency nutritional supplements, catch-up vaccinations against diseases and emergency kits.
- UNICEF is delivering water to half a million people a day, including 5.2 million litres a day to displaced families in camps and emergency sites, and 3.3 million litres a day in and around east and west Mosul.
- As they return to their homes, children, some of whom have not been in a classroom for three years, will need to restart formal education, or we risk losing an entire generation. To date, UNICEF has supported the reopening of 470 schools in east and west Mosul, benefitting 364,500 children.
- Mosul’s population prior to the conflict was estimated at 1.2 million, with the majority living in west Mosul. UNICEF estimates half are children.
For further information please contact:
Valentina Bollenback, Unicef UK Press Office at [email protected]
Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or [email protected]
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit Unicef.org.uk