Mosul: Children arriving at camps "too terrified to speak"

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Children fleeing Mosul are arriving at camps petrified, struggling to express themselves, and in some cases too terrified to speak, say World Vision staff based just outside of the city

The lives of children leaving Mosul are in extreme danger from landmines and crossfire, according to the international agency. The current battle and two years of living under ISIL occupation has also taken a serious toll on their physical and mental health. In response, World Vision has been setting up 'Child Friendly Spaces' to support children as part of an emergency response that also provides clean water, showers and toilets, hygiene kits and basic household items.

To ensure the safety and protection of children affected by fighting in Mosul, World Vision is calling on the Government of Canada to scale up its humanitarian response and to use its diplomatic voice calling for the respect of International Humanitarian Law and the protection of the civilian population, and children in particular.

QUOTES:
"One little boy who is five years old arrived at the camp too terrified to speak. He saw his 15-year-old brother killed while they fled ISIL. He was not mixing with the other children - he was simply staring at them. Thankfully, with the support of World Vision trained staff, he was able to say his name by the end of the day. However this is just the beginning of what could be years of support, as children begin to rebuild their lives and regain a sense of normality."
Aaron Moore, World Vision's Programs Manager, Iraq

"We are working with children who have arrived from Mosul in the last few days that are showing the crushing impact of being trapped in a city that was taken over two years ago. Many children have been stuck in their homes while bombings, sniper fire or chaos rules around them. Others have witnessed the death of family members."
Aaron Moore, World Vision's Programs Manager, Iraq

"We welcome the humanitarian commitments made by the Government of Canada in Iraq, however as the current situation escalates in Mosul, we are concerned that growing needs of those affected will not be met with the current resources. Children always bear the brunt of military conflict and Canada can use its diplomatic voice to positively influence parties in Iraq to ensure measures are taken to protect children."
Michael Messenger, President of World Vision Canada

QUICK FACTS:

  • More than 20,000 people have been internally displaced after fleeing Mosul since October 17.
  • Up to 700,000 people could still leave the city, which has been occupied since June 2014.

HOW CANADIANS CAN HELP:
Donate to World Vision's RAW HOPE initiative, which supports the response to children and families affected by conflict in Mosul.

MEDIA RESOURCES:
B-Roll & Photos of World Vision's Child Friendly Space at Zelican IDP Camp near Mosul: HERE 
Photos of IDPs arriving at Debaga Camp near Mosul: HERE 

World Vision is a relief, development, and advocacy organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, World Vision is dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

Image with caption: "Children are arriving at camps outside of Mosul scared and traumatized. In response World Vision is setting up 'Child Friendly Spaces', which are safe spaces where children can play and receive psychosocial support. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161102_C5466_PHOTO_EN_810406.jpg

For further information: For interviews contact: Chelsea MacLachlan - 647 447 4334 or chelsea_maclachlan@worldvision.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.worldvision.ca

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