Millions of children in conflicts need psychological help: report | News | DW | 10.09.2019

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Millions of children in conflicts need psychological help: report

More than 420 million children live in conflict zones, according to a new study. Humanitarian groups have called on countries to do more to preserve childhood, including providing assistance and much-needed funds.

Save the Children on Tuesday said 24 million children are in need of psychological assistance due to trauma sustained from conflicts.

NGOs are pushing governments to do more to safeguard childhood as the number of children living in conflict zones hits 420 million around the world.

Read more: Germany brings home 'Islamic State' children from Iraq

In numbers:

  • 142 million children live in a high-intensity conflict zone, where at least 1,000 people are killed each year.
  • Only 0.14 percent of development aid went towards children's psychological assistance over two years.
  • Around 17 percent of people living in or displaced from a conflict zone require psychological aid.

Read more: In Yemen, 'nearly all children' at risk from war

Protect children

Susanna Krüger, chairwoman of Save the Children in Germany, said:

  • "This war against children must end."
  • "(Children) often lack the most basic things. Mental problems are a completely normal response."
  • "We demand that states … as well as all parties to conflict comply with international rules protecting children, and to provide more money so that children can recover from conflicts."

Read more:  In Cameroon, kids bear the brunt of armed conflict

Which countries are worst affected?

The report highlighted the plight of children in Yemen and South Sudan, along with Myanmar's Rohingya, among others.

Yemen: hospitals in need

What can states do to protect children?

Save the Children has put forward several recommendations, including "upholding standards of conduct in conflict" and "holding perpetrators of violations to account."

In concrete terms, it means implementing a "straight 18" rule for recruiting youth into armed forces and ensuring displaced children have access to quality education within months.

What happens next?

Save the Children and other NGOs are hoping to build pressure ahead of the UN General Assembly later this month. 

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ls/rt (KNA, AFP, dpa)