UNICEF airs concern over threats to safety, plight of Zamboanga kids

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MANILA — UNICEF has expressed concerns about the plight of an estimated 90,000 children affected by the armed conflict in Zamboanga City including 47,000 children who have been displaced. Both the figures are estimated based on the national average percentage of below-18-year-old population.

“We condemn in the strongest terms any action undertaken in conflict situations that violates children’s rights.  Children have a right to special protection under international law, and every measure must be taken to ensure their protection,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi said in a statement sent to media.

The Philippine Government and other organizations have been taking actions to address the needs of the affected population including children by providing special services and supplies, water, food, hygiene facilities, health services, shelter and psychosocial support. UNICEF has provided hygiene and water kits to protect children from diseases, while tents that will serve as temporary learning spaces are being delivered. However, reports from the affected areas indicate that more needs to be done to protect children’s rights and ensure their well-being.  Action must be taken continually to:

1. prevent diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and measles;
2. prevent malnutrition among children including the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and the prevention of uncontrolled procurement, acceptance, distribution and use of infant formulae which increases the risk of diarrhoea and malnutrition at emergency sites;
3. ensure earliest possible resumption of education (if necessary, in temporary locations) to provide a safe environment for children, help them regain sense of normalcy and ensure their uninterrupted education;
4. ensure special procedures are in place to reduce the additional risk of neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence against children that all too commonly accompanies prolonged instability and insecurity; and
5. provide special care and support services for children to reduce and address conflict-induced psychosocial problems such as distress, depression, anxiety disorder and trauma.

UNICEF and its partners are determined to assist in the provision of these protections as quickly as possible, the statement said.

“All children have the right to grow and develop to their fullest potential, and they can only do this if they are free from fear, are healthy and well-nourished, and have access to schooling and play. The increased threats and additional risks facing children affected by the armed conflict in Zamboanga demand the immediate attention of everyone involved and must be addressed as a matter of real urgency,” Hozumi added.

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  • neilabarca

    ITIGIL na ang kahibangang GERA diyan sa ZAMBOANGA.

    Pati tuloy ang United Nation ay nababahala sa trauma effect sa mga kabataan ng GERA, na ang pinagsimulan lang ay ang “RALLY at pagtatangkang pagtitirik ng BANDILA.”

    SINO ang ba siguradong MAKIKINABANG sa GERA ?
    Una; mga kumikita at supplier ng kagamitang pangDIGMA. Ang napipintong pagb ili ng fighter planes sa South KOrea.

    Pangalawa; mga rumaraaket sa pagbebenta ng BALA at ARMAS sa mga rebelde.
    Pangatlo; Sa mga opisyal ng sundalo, pag may GERA, mabilis ang PROMOTION ng ranggo…malamang itaas at palakasin ang ayudang budget sa Dept of Nat’l Defence.

    Pangatlo; makikinabang ang MALAKANYANG, si NOYNOY AQUINO… Mababaling ang atensyon ng mga Pilipino sa GERA at hindi sa isyu ng ABOLITION of PORK BARREL.

    Panghuli; ang mga TONGRESMEN, sapagkat, hindi mapapansin ng mga tao ang “BAGONG NILULUTONG DISCRETION ng mga pulitiko sa budget”, ang pagpapatuloy ng PDAF…

    • walaywalay

      UNICEF is concerned about that which the RP GOVERNMENT is not

    • ARIKUTIK

      Ang makikinabang sa GERA ay population control tulad ng RH law ni P.Noy.

  • PrinceofDarkness

    I say eradicate those terror groups… They are a pathetic emotionless greedy murderous inhuman group… They hide under the premise of fighting for the peoples freedom while secretly pushing their agenda for personal gain….

  • on_hindsight

    Misuari felt left out, then attacked Zamboanga. Ganun ba un? pag di ka napagbigyan and if you want to call attention, you’ll make the helpless civilians and children suffer? Nur is still an irresponsible leader.

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