An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Kabul.
At least 27 children have lost their lives due to freezing temperatures in northern Afghanistan, officials say. The children, all under the age of five, were killed in the remote district of Darzab in Jawzjan Province over the last two or three days, said District Governor Rahmatullah Hashar on Thursday, adding that roads in the district were blocked by a blanket of snow as thick as half a meter.
He further said that the blockade, in turn, had cut off access for villagers in the region to medical care as temperatures dropped to minus 10 degrees Celsius. Hashar said the toll could further rise.
The desperate situation of Iraqi children has been largely created by the international community, the US and UK in particular. Iraq has been exposed to:
* two decades of sanctions and punitive reparation payments which have hit the most vulnerable members of society;
* the destruction of vital civilian infrastructure through targeted bombing;
* the collapse of state apparatus after the 2003 invasion;
* continuous military violence and the opening of the country to other fundamentalist forces;
* a constitution founded on ethnic and religious division and US/UK support of sectarian and misogynist factions; corrupt governance
A displaced child waits behind a fence after arriving at a People’s Mobilization Forces camp west of Mosul.
The report says almost 10% of Iraq’s children – more than 1.5 million – have been forced to flee their homes since the intensification of fighting. “The conflict is exposing children in Iraq to daily horrors. Unless addressed immediately, young minds, haunted by fear and hatred, could slip into a spiral of despair, darkness and a sense of helplessness. Learning, playing and aspiring to a more prosperous future will be a thing of the past.”