What happens to a child’s brain during conflict? | UNICEF
More than 86.7 million children under the age of 7 have spent their entire lives in conflict zones, putting their brain development at risk. During the first 7 years of life a child’s brain has the potential to activate 1,000 brain cells every second but the trauma from living in conflict can limit that development.
The solution is to invest more to provide children and caregivers with critical supplies and services including learning materials, psychosocial support, and safe, child-friendly spaces that can help restore a sense of childhood in the midst of conflict.
[PESHAWAR, Pakistan] Taliban ambushed a Pakistani school bus on Tuesday, killing four boys and the driver in a hail of bullets and rocket fire on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said.
The children studied at an elite English-language school of a type reviled by hardline Islamist militants who oppose what they see as Western-imported, secular education.
Two seven-year-old girls on the bus were also wounded, officials said.
The year 2014 has been one of horror, fear and despair for millions of children, as worsening conflicts across the world saw them exposed to extreme violence and its consequences, forcibly recruited and deliberately targeted by warring groups. Yet many crises no longer capture the world’s attention.
As many as 15 million children are caught up in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine – including those internally displaced or living as refugees. Globally, an estimated 230 million children currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts.
“The biggest problem is we need more teachers. However, many who are qualified are afraid to work in the area because of the ongoing conflict and the recent attacks,” Haundang said.
Some 47,000 people are in IDP camps in KIA-controlled areas, with thousands more staying with host families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 18 April.
Thousands of school-age children have been affected by the conflict, with varying access to education facilities.
In KIA-controlled areas, volunteer teachers have been used to maintain education services for the displaced. However, financial support for this effort is lacking. A comprehensive assessment of the education sector is urgently needed to better determine the number of children in need of education support, gaps in school supplies, and the absorption capacity of existing schools, OCHA said.