UN says half displaced people by war in Iraq are children

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Iraqi children from the Shabak community walk past their house, which was destroyed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, in the village of Baz Gerkan east of Mosul, northern Iraq, January 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi children from the Shabak community walk past their house, which was destroyed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, in the village of Baz Gerkan east of Mosul, northern Iraq, January 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says children account for nearly half the 2.6 million Iraqis who have been displaced since three years ago, when the Daesh Takfiri terrorists began a deadly campaign.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s chief representative in Iraq, said on Friday that 1.3 million children had been displaced.

Daesh began the campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning territory and brutalizing people. The Iraqi army and volunteer forces soon launched operations to eliminate the terrorist group.

Victory was declared on December 9, 2017. But pockets of Daesh and potential sleeper cells remain in Iraq.

“We believe that as a result of the conflict, a lack of investment over the years, and the poverty … that there are 4 million children now in need across Iraq,” Hawkins told a news briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, by telephone from Baghdad.

“While the fighting has come to an end in several areas, spikes of violence continue in others, just this week, three bombings went off in Baghdad,” UNICEF’s Regional Director Geert Cappelaere said in a statement.

“Violence is not only killing and maiming children; it is destroying schools, hospitals, homes and roads. It is tearing apart the diverse social fabric and the culture of tolerance that hold communities together,” he added.

Hawkins said the UN agency was also helping the children of the detained people who allegedly worked with Daesh by providing comfort and legal aid.

He said that UNICEF was trying to reunite those children who were separated from their families, including those abroad.

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