UNICEF: Over 500,000 children in Libya need aid

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New York, Aug 11 (IANS/WAM) The ongoing conflict and the breakdown of the economy have left more than a half million children in need of humanitarian aid in Libya, the United Nations children’s agency said.

“Six years since the crisis began in Libya, over 550,000 children need assistance because of political instability, on-going conflict, displacement, and economic collapse,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Heavy violence in some parts of the country has forced families to flee their homes. More than 80,000 children are internally displaced and migrant children in Libya are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including in detention centres,” he added.

Since 2011, UNICEF has been expanding its assistance to respond to children’s needs on the ground.

Cappelaere pointed out that more than 1.3 million children were vaccinated against polio last year.

UNICEF and partners, including national institutions, were able to maintain nearly universal immunisation coverage even when violence was at its peak, the report said.

UNICEF has partnered with 28 municipalities across Libya under the “Together for Children” campaign to support children’s basic rights.

–IANS/WAM

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