5 biggest challenges facing children in the world | Mirror

The multiple intertwined crises occurring in 2022, including the global conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing wars in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Congo and other burning regions of the world, as well as famine and the climate crisis; Great challenges for humanity have affected children around the world.

And while people hoped that this year would herald the beginning of a new, better era, two years after a global pandemic that saw a record rise in child poverty and strained health systems; We have entered into new problems, among which is the Russian war against Ukraine, which will have consequences for the world of childhood, especially in light of the high prices of grain and food at record levels due to the interruption of the Ukrainian supply of wheat and grain.

In light of these conditions, the situation of children in the world has worsened, whether in terms of nutrition, hunger, insecurity or other problems. Here are the 5 biggest challenges facing children in the world, according to numerous specialized organizations and platforms that monitor childhood conditions in different regions and countries:

1- Poverty and hunger

More than 30% of children in developing countries suffer from malnutrition and are malnourished. The United Nations states that more than 25,000 children die every day due to poverty, and most of them die from secondary diseases that can be easily treated if the facilities are available.

Children growing up in poverty often lack the food, sanitation, shelter, health care and education they need to survive. Around 1 billion children worldwide live in multidimensional poverty, meaning they lack basic necessities such as food or clean water.

An estimated 356 million children worldwide live in extreme poverty, and the poorest children are twice as likely to die in childhood as their wealthier peers. Even in the richest countries in the world, 1 in 7 children still lives in poverty, and 1 in 4 children in the European Union is at risk of hunger.

During the year 2021, the Corona pandemic, conflicts, civil wars and climate change have caused millions of children worldwide to suffer from malnutrition, and the organization “Save the Children” estimates that about two million children under the age of five will die of hunger by the end current year 2022.

The global food crisis caused by the conflict in Ukraine has brought new threats to children, as skyrocketing wheat prices have endangered millions of children around the world in countries such as Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, and in countries such as Kenya where 3.5 million people are suffering from extreme hunger, and in Somalia around 1.5 million people face severe hunger. A million children are severely malnourished due to dehydration.

A child sells tea by the roadside in Kolkata, India (Shutterstock)

2- Wars

Nearly 200 million children live in the world’s deadliest war zones, the highest number recorded in more than a decade and a 20% increase from the previous year in 2021.

The reason for this sharp increase was Russia’s war against Ukraine, the outbreak of violence in Mozambique, as well as ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Yemen and Syria.

Currently, at least 7.5 million children in Ukraine are at serious risk of physical, emotional and psychological harm and displacement due to the months-long war with no end in sight in the near future.

The United Nations report highlights nearly 24,000 confirmed cases of serious violence against children, at a rate of 65 violations per day, with the killing and maiming of children being the most serious verified violation, followed by the recruitment and use of children in war, and the denial of humanitarian access to them. The places where children suffered the worst abuses are: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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Gaza in Palestine is one of the places where most children have died from serious war crimes (Reuters)

3- Education and the danger of illiteracy

These children suffer from the dangers of illiteracy, which is a huge problem all over the world and is especially prevalent in countries like India and Nepal, as well as in regions where there are fierce conflicts and civil wars like Yemen and Syria.

Shockingly, more than 796 million people in the world do not know how to read and write, about 67 million children do not have primary education, and another 72 million children fall behind in secondary education. This will have a decisive impact on their future, because without a decent education they will not get a suitable job for them, which will worsen the problem of poverty in the world.

Children in Kabul, Afghanistan, outside of school (Shutterstock)

4- Slavery

Poor parents sell their children to traders who in turn sell them as slaves. A child often ends up living in another country where he does not understand the language or the prevailing customs and traditions, is beaten because he cannot follow instructions, has no one to turn to and no way to return home.

An estimated 12 million children worldwide suffer from some form of modern slavery, with 3 million children exploited in forced labor and nearly 9 million children forced into early marriage, according to the Anti-Slavery Platform (antislavery.org). ).) in a recent report.

Many children are forced to work hard in mines, brickyards, factories and private homes, and others are forced into marriage, sexual exploitation, begging or selling drugs. This is not limited to poor or developing countries, but rather to rich countries. Children in the United Kingdom, the European Union and developed economies Others (especially members of ethnic minorities) are often subjected to slavery, according to what the previous platform mentioned in its report.

Climate change is the biggest threat to children and young people, because it poses a threat to their health, nutrition, education and future (Shutterstock)

5- Climate changes

Climate change is the greatest threat facing children and young people in the world and poses a major threat to their health, nutrition, education and future, according to UNICEF in a recent report.

Children are less able to survive extreme weather conditions and are more sensitive to toxic chemicals, temperature changes and diseases.

The Middle East and North Africa region is one of the most sensitive regions in the world when it comes to climate change, as the temperature in the region is rising faster than the global average, and summer temperatures are expected to rise by up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2071 compared to pre-industrial levels. temperature..

Climate change and increased emissions of gases into the atmosphere lead to stronger storms and droughts, all of which can seriously affect children’s health through increased asthma attacks and allergies, food insecurity, increased mental problems and slowed growth, and changes in their genetic makeup. Mosquitoes that carry dengue and malaria are also expanding the spread of these diseases as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change around the world.

Flooding is associated with outbreaks of diarrhea that are especially dangerous for infants and children, and mold that grows in flooded homes can cause allergies and other chest ailments.

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