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Statement by Executive Director Ann M. Veneman concerning the situation of children in Somalia

18 December 2007

“An estimated 1.5 million children and their families in Somalia are in urgent need of emergency humanitarian assistance, as some of the worst fighting in 17 years devastates the country.

“The suffering of children and their families is acute, particularly in the capital, Mogadishu, where fighting prevents families from accessing emergency facilities and from leaving the city.

“UNICEF staff on the ground report critical shortages of food, water, and medicine – putting children at high risk of disease and malnutrition. Children are also suffering from exhaustion and emotional trauma.

“In addition to the immediate threats to their lives and health, children’s futures are being damaged because the conflict has severely restricted access to education.

“UNICEF appeals to all parties for an immediate cessation of the conflict to enable humanitarian workers access to those in need, especially children.

“Safe zones must be created where children and families can find assistance and stability.”





18 December 2007:
UNICEF’s Misbah Sheikh reports on efforts by UNICEF and partners to protect displaced children in Somalia from common childhood ailments.
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