Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

1.8 Mln Children Displaced Due to Violence in Sahel

Fri 22 Mar 2024 | 11:30 AM
Israa Farhan

Escalating violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger has forced about 1.8 million children to flee their homes, marking a five-fold increase over the past five years, according to the organization Save the Children, on Thursday.

The organization compiled the number of displaced children in the three Sahel countries by analyzing data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, national governments, and the International Organization for Migration.

The study noted that the number of children displaced rose from around 321,000 in 2019 to 1.8 million today.

Save the Children's regional director, Vishna Shah, emphasized that the largely overlooked crisis in the Central Sahel region is one of the worst humanitarian emergencies globally, with particularly dire consequences for children.

Shah added that millions of children are living in displacement, fleeing deadly violence that is unimaginable.

These children originally lived in one of the most challenging places to grow up in the world before losing their homes, communities, and everything they knew.

Save the Children also highlighted that Ivory Coast, which emerged from its civil war in 2011, has also been affected by the expansion of violence in the Sahel region.

Conflicts in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali have led to a twelve-fold increase in the number of children seeking refuge in Ivory Coast, from about 2,450 at the end of 2022 to around 29,700 currently.

Children represent 40% of the displaced population worldwide, according to the United Nations, but they constitute a larger proportion in West and Central Africa.

According to the organization's analysis, they make up about 58% of those forced to flee.