The past three years of intensifying conflict in Iraq have left the country's children trapped in a grinding cycle of violence and poverty, an assessment out today by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned, calling on the warring parties to immediately end hostilities.
“Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence,” said Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in the country, in a statement on the launch of the new assessment.
Entitled Nowhere to Go, the assessment underscores that more than five million children in the country are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
“They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one of the most brutal wars in recent history,” Mr. Hawkins emphasized.
In west Mosul, children are being deliberately targeted and killed to punish families and deter them from fleeing the violence. In less than two months, at least 23 children have been killed and 123 have been injured in that part of the city alone, according to UNICEF.