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In 2022, 149 Million Of Children Were In Need Of Humanitarian Assistance

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In 2022, 149 Million Of Children Were In Need Of Humanitarian Assistance

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In 2022, the number of children in need of humanitarian assistance rose more than 20% in comparison to 2021, to 149 million. As indicated by the Global Humanitarian Overview, the increase can be attributed to new and protracted conflict, hunger, and the climate crisis. Commenting on the data, Save the Children reported that Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were most severely impacted. The analysis produced by Save the Children considered the top seven emergencies impacting children in 2022.

In Afghanistan, an estimated 14 million children were in need of aid in 2022, according to the analysis by Save the Children. According to Save the Children, “Afghanistan has long been one of the worst places to be a child, but over the past year the situation for children in the country has grown even more desperate. Children are going to bed hungry night after night. Millions are at risk of severe malnutrition and other life-threatening illnesses. Families are taking desperate measures to survive – sending their children to work or surviving on bread alone.” The situation of children is exacerbated by political neglect and lack of funding for humanitarian responses.

In the DRC, an estimated 13.9 million children were in need of humanitarian assistance. Save the Children reported that “an upsurge in conflict has caused over 390,000 people to flee their homes just in the last months, further worsening a hunger crisis in which 3.3 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished and 45% of deaths in children under 5 are related to malnutrition.”

The DRC was followed by Ethiopia 13.2 million, Yemen with 10 million, Pakistan with 8.8. million, Sudan with 8.8. million and Syria with 6 millions of children in critical need of essential services such as food, clean water, shelter and mental health or other assistance. As emphasized by Save the Children, “it has been more challenging than ever for humanitarian agencies to reach those in need around the world. There is a lack of funding, lack of access to affected areas, a restrictive environment for civil society organizations and limitations imposed by counter terrorism legislation and sanctions.”

As the deteriorating situation of children globally can be attributed to conflict, global hunger, and the climate crisis, it is crucial to consider the drivers to ensure that they are addressed. Among others, 2022 has seen more conflicts than any other year since World War II. These conflicts have had a horrific effect on the situation of children globally. Children are the most vulnerable individuals during a conflict but also very often, they become the very target in wars waged by others. For example, as seen in Ukraine, Putin’s army has been targeting children with their atrocities, including with abductions of Ukrainian children and their forcible transfer to Russia where they would be subjected to illegal adoptions. As long as Putin’s war continues, children in Ukraine are at a risk of a litany of crimes, including death, injury, abductions and much more.

As more and more children are in need of humanitarian assistance, as affected by conflict, climate crisis and global hunger, it is crucial not only to respond to the humanitarian needs, but to the very causes of the crises. Responding to the drivers is the only way to prevent the pain and suffering of children as seen in 2022 too often.

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