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Starvation being used as a military strategy in the war zones

Over the last decade, the world has become less peaceful, particularly due to the rising conflicts across the world. Reports reveal that major conflicts this year have been majorly recorded in Middle East and Africa. However, apart from affecting the countries, conflicts make a severe impact on the lives of the civilians.

Save the Children reported that hunger is progressively becoming a weapon of war. Its latest research showed that more than half a million children in the war zones could end up dying from extreme hunger before the end of this year.

The charity estimates that 4.5 million children under the age of five in the worst war zones of the world — Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo — will need treatment for life-threatening malnutrition this year.

It also reported that this year between August and December, 590 thousand children are expected to miss out on vital treatment, and die of starvation and diseases. Without relief in the war zones, that is an average of 1, 600 children dying each day, or one child a minute.

After declining for more than two decades, global hunger this year is on the rise, with the UN citing conflict as the major reason for the reversal.

CEO of Save the Children International, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said, “In 2018 no child should be dying from hunger. But the number of hungry people on our planet has started to rise again. This is shameful. Hunger is not inevitable.”

“Many of these children are in warzones. Time after time we are seeing starvation used as a weapon of war when deliveries of food are obstructed by the warring parties in places like Yemen, Syria and South Sudan,” she added.
The mortality estimate of the charity includes 300 thousand children in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Besides, in Yemen, nearly 35 thousand malnourished children are expected to die. The country is on the brink of famine, with obstructions to deliveries of food and medicine by all sides.

Save the Children is making attempt to help local health partners and aid workers reach more children, through treatment and feeding programs, in war zones across the world. The charity has been appealing for urgent donations to execute the same.

“We must stop this dangerous trend. All warring parties must abide by their obligations under international law to allow humanitarian access. We also need to see an increase in funding from the international community to save more children’s lives,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

While armed forces are making starvation their weapons in the conflicts, it is important for all parties to acknowledge and work with NGOs, in order to ensure that aid is delivered to the people and children who need it.

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