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15 October 2020 - News

Save the Children Statement Following the escalation of violence in Helmand province

Responding to the escalation of violence in Helmand province that has led to an estimated 35,000 people fleeing their homes, Save the Children’s Country Director in Afghanistan Christopher Nyamandi said, "It is deeply concerning that tens of thousands of people, many of them children, have been forced from their homes because of fighting. A humanitarian crisis must be avoided. 

Two decades of conflict in Afghanistan has had a devastating impact on the lives of children. Their education has been heavily disrupted, many have been maimed or killed by explosive weapons, or attacks on places like schools and hospitals. This year, children have made up a third of all civilian casualties of the violence, and that is unacceptable.

The mental scars can be felt as deeply, too. Depression and anxiety can stay with children for many years.

It is vital that all parties to the fighting in Helmand respect the laws of war and do everything they can to protect the children and their families fleeing the violence. Fighting must not take place near or in schools so that they can remain safe places, free from violence.