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One Child Displaced Every Minute Due to Ongoing Violence in Haiti: UNICEF

Unicef of Executive Director Katherine Russell highlights the devastating impact of violence on children and teens.

“This humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes is having a devastating impact on children,” he said. “Displaced children desperately need a safe and protective environment, and they need greater support and funding from the international community.”

Against a backdrop of years of political turmoil, widespread poverty, widespread disease and a number of disasters across the country, nearly three million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The growing challengeor

Displaced children in Haiti are at high risk of violence, including sexual abuse, exploitation, abuse and separation from family. They also find it difficult to access safe spaces, health care and essential services such as clean water and sanitation.

Unhygienic conditions in camps and temporary settlements have increased the risk of children contracting diseases such as cholera. With schools closed due to violence and economic hardship, many children have been forced to abandon their education.

UNICEF stressed that children, having no other means of survival or protection, are being forced to join armed groups, which is a clear violation of their rights and international law.

UNICEF warning

Along with these challenges, natural disasters are also wreaking havoc across the country.

Haiti’s National Emergency Operations Center has warned of an “extremely active” hurricane season. The cyclones are adding to the threat already posed to vulnerable displaced populations. In June, a storm in the Northwest Department destroyed the homes of 650 children.

UNICEF warns that an already weak health care system will now have to face the rainy season, which could further worsen the situation and increase the risk of waterborne diseases.

“Both the needs and the risks facing children in Haiti are growing,” said UNICEF chief Catherine Russell.

He said that to improve this situation, everyone has to play their role and ensure that children are safe, get education and have access to basic services.

Katherine Russell said children should not be forced to pay the price for a crisis created by adults by risking their lives and futures.

David Dass
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