NEW YORK – The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF declared 2014 a devastating year for children with as many as 15 million caught in conflicts in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Ukraine.
In Palestine, a seven week Israeli aggression on Gaza in July and August left some 538 children dead 20 percent of the total civilian death toll and 3,370 injured.
According to the report 138 of its students were killed during the assault. Reports revealed that additional 814 students were injured and 560 have become orphans due to the Israeli onslaught.
The agency started training teachers in Gaza early October to provide psychosocial support to the 241,000 children back in schools in the area.
In Syria, UNICEF said more than 7.3 million children have been affected by the civil war, including 1.7 million who fled the country. In neighboring Iraq an estimated 2.7 million children have been affected by conflict, it added, with at least 700 believed to have been maimed or killed this year.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said the high number of crises meant many of them were quickly forgotten or failed to capture global headlines, such as in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Early September, UNICEF warned of an “education emergency” that Iraqi children were facing after being forced from their homes, with hundreds of schools used to shelter displaced families.
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