UNICEF concerned over wellbeing of children in Iraq's Mosul
Posted: 2017-Jul-14 22.00.17 UTC+0800
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Thursday that it is concerned over the wellbeing of some 650,000 children in Mosul, Iraq, who have lived through violence and some of whom continue to suffer.
"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," Hamida Ramadhani, UNICEF's Deputy Representative in Iraq said in a statement.
On Monday, Iraq formally announced that Mosul has been freed from the Islamic State (IS) after nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.
Ramadhani said that in the past three days, her agency and its partners have seen an increase in the number of extremely vulnerable unaccompanied children arriving at medical and reception centers. Some babies have also been found alone in the debris.
"The needs and the future of children must remain a top priority in the weeks and months to come," she said in the statement, adding that 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," she said.
Mosul, about 400 kilometers north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, came under IS control since June 2014 when government forces fled. The capture of Mosul enabled IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions. (PNA)