UN Sounds Alarm on Iraq Violence's Grave Threat to Children

United Nations officials are sounding alarm at the toll the escalating crisis in Iraq has taken upon the nation’s children.

The current wave of conflict has forced roughly one million Iraqis from their homes, and half a million of those fleeing are children.

Tina Yu, Iraq Country Director with the international charity Save the Children, called it “one of the biggest displacements in recent history.”

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“I am especially concerned by the increasing violence and its impact on children,” Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, warned in a statement issued Thursday.

Humanitarian agencies have scaled up their efforts to help the refugees, stated Jacqueline Badcock, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, but she also warned Friday, “Many are staying in the open and urgently need water, food, shelter and latrines.”

“The humanitarian needs of Iraq’s wider newly displaced population continue to mount,” added UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards.