'Videogame' violence shows children get little aid in war zones

'Videogame' violence shows children obtain little aid in war zones

By Kieran Guilbert

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A fictional video of a young girl being shot by militants & watching the execution of her father before collapsing in shock aims to raise awareness of the small proportion of humanitarian funding spent on protecting children in war zones.

The video "Duty of Care", made in the style of a first-person shooter videogame & taking the viewer around a Middle East conflict zone through the eyes of nine-year-old Nima, was launched on Wednesday by the charity War Child as part of its HELP campaign.

p> While children account for more than half the population in war zones, less than three percent of humanitarian funding is spent on their protection, according to the charity, which helps children affected by conflicts & war around the world.

The charity launched its campaign ahead of next year's inaugural World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, which will bring together governments, aid groups & people affected by crises to set an agenda for future humanitarian action.

"In humanitarian emergencies, tangible forms of aid take precedence over protection & education, which are chronically underfunded," War Child UK's CEO Rob Williams said.

"The truth is, whilst food, water & shelter are daily necessities, they do not keep a child in war safe from harm," Williams said in a statement as the campaign was launched.

In 13 countries monitored by the U.N. Security Council since 2010 because of grave rights violations against children during armed conflict, 29 percent of humanitarian aid was spent on food, 11 percent on health & just three percent on protection of people, according to U.N. statistics compiled by War Child.

The proportion of aid spent on protecting children in war zones was in fact less than three percent as that figure includes spending on human rights, rule of law & preventing sexual violence & female genital mutilation, War Child said.

Last year was one of the worst in history for the world's children, with some 15 million caught up in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the Palestinian Territories, Syria & Ukraine, the U.N. children's agency said.

An estimated 230 million children live in countries & areas torn by armed conflicts, according to UNICEF.

(Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Tim Pearce; please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption & climate change. Visit www.trust.org)

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Source: “Reuters”

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