According to UNICEF, 2014 has been one of the worst years for vulnerable children to date, with an estimated 230 million children living in countries and regions riven by armed conflict.
Violence continues in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Palestine, South Sudan, Syria and the Ukraine, with more than 15 million children caught up in major conflicts. UNICEF notes that the sheer number of humanitarian crises in 2014 has meant that people around the world are less able to devote attention to each one of them (and to consider helping to alleviate their effects on children). Our media directs our attention to the next crisis, while protracted crises in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen continue to claim the lives and futures of their youth.
New threats to children’s health and well-being have arisen this year, the most impactful of which has been the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. To date, it has orphaned thousands, and prevented an estimated 5 million children from attending school.
Within the countries experiencing crisis, hundreds of children have been kidnapped from their schools or on their way to school. Tens of thousands have been recruited by armed forces and paramilitary groups. In addition, attacks on education and health facilities and the use of schools for military purposes have increased in many places.
Again, UNICEF states that the sheer number of crises of war and disease means that they no longer seem to be capturing the world’s attention.
What can we do to ensure that each child has the ability to exercise his or her right to a happy, healthy, and safe childhood?
This holiday season, please consider sponsoring a child or making a tax-deductible donation to SOS Children’s Villages through our website. Each donation made this month will be MATCHED by our generous Board of Directors.
Your support will help provide vulnerable children with a loving home, a warm bed, healthy meals, quality medical care, and help in emergency situations.