Cologne - The Children's Fund has called for more support for children in crisis areas. Unicef estimates that at least 59 million children in 50 countries around the world are currently dependent on life-saving humanitarian aid. “Your childhood and youth are determined by conflicts, political instability, natural disasters and extreme poverty - with devastating consequences for adolescents and the social stability in your home country,” said the relief organization on the occasion of today's World Humanitarian Day.
The situation of children is currently particularly dire in Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and the Central African Republic. "Unicef and its partners have never had to deal with four emergency aid missions of the highest level of urgency at the same time," explained Christian Schneider, Managing Director of Unicef Germany. Then there are the crises in Gaza, Ukraine and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Doctors Without Borders and the Johanniter campaigned not to lose sight of the crises in the Central African Republic, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the Central African Republic, people have been suffering from extreme violence and neglect for year and half, said Doctors Without Borders Managing Director Florian Westphal.
Doctors and nurses who provide medical help in war and crisis regions are more and more victims of violence themselves. The International Committee of the Red Cross counted 1,800 attacks on medical facilities in 2012 and 2013 - and the trend is rising. They came in in groups, five, ten or 15 men with weapons.
Several aid organizations called for better protection for children in wars and disasters. In such situations, minors are particularly susceptible to abuse, violence and exploitation, explained the Duisburger Kindernothilfe and the Osnabrück relief organization terre des hommes. Special protection, care and emotional support are necessary.
On the occasion of World Day, other aid organizations have called for better protection of medical staff and humanitarian aid workers in crisis areas. The Catholic aid organization Caritas International urged clear separation between military action and humanitarian operations.
The US military action against the Islamist terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS) in Iraq is last resort to prevent civilians from reaching To save massacres, said the head of the Africa and Middle East division at Caritas International, Christoph Klitsch-Ott. In his opinion, war operations should not be labeled "humanitarian". The work of the aid organizations becomes even more difficult and dangerous, since they are interpreted as henchmen of the military mission.