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Statement attributable to Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq on the children of Fallujah

2016-06-01

BAGHDAD, 1 June 2016 – “As the violence intensifies in Fallujah, children continue to be trapped in the city and its surroundings.

“UNICEF estimates that at least 20,000 children remain inside Fallujah, 60 KMs West of Baghdad. According to reports, food and medicine are running out and clean water is in short supply.

“Since the start of the military operation in Fallujah, very few families were able to leave. Most of these families moved to two camps while others sought refuge with relatives and extended families.

“As the violence continues to escalate in Fallujah and across Iraq, we are concerned over the protection of children in the face of extreme violence. Children face the risk of forced recruitment into the fighting, strict procedures for security screening and separation from their families.

“Children who are forcibly recruited into the fighting see their lives and futures jeopardized as they are forced to carry and use arms, fighting an adults’ war.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to protect children inside Fallujah, provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city and grant safe and secure environment to civilians who fled Fallujah.”

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For details on UNICEF’s response to the crisis in Iraq, click on link for the flash update http://www.unicef.org/iraq/UNICEF_Iraq_Anbar_Flash_Update_(31_May_2016)_Final.pdf

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UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.