Ceasefire needed to protect 250 million children: UNICEF chief

UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned on Friday that 250 million children around the world living in the “waking nightmare” of conflict desperately need warring parties to stop fighting as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. In an appeal, UNICEF Executive-Director Henrietta Fore urged belligerents to consider that they would not be able to battle the disease while still fighting each other.

“To the children living through these waking nightmares, a ceasefire could mean the difference between life and death,” she said, adding that it would protect children from being killed, maimed or forced from their homes, and stop the attacks on health centres, water and sanitation systems. Ms. Fore’s call comes nearly a month after UN chief António Guterres appealed for a global ceasefire, which has resulted in a temporary lull in hostilities in 11 countries.

Violent conflict continues nonetheless in parts of Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and elsewhere.

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