At least 100,000 babies die as a result of war every year, says report

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A child in Iraq who was struck in the head with shrapnel
A child in Iraq who was struck in the head with shrapnel -
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Sam Tarling/Save the Children
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At least 100,000 babies are dying every year as a result of wars according to a new report by British charity Save The Children.

The report estimated around 420 million children - nearly one in five of the global population - were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017.

This figure is up from 390 million the year before.

The research, carried out by the Peace Research Institute Oslo for Save the Children, found the number of children living in conflict zones is now double the number at the end of the Cold War.

The ten countries hit the hardest are Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia.

Sam Tarling/Save the Children
A child looking for scrap metal in the ruins of Mosul, IraqSam Tarling/Save the Children

The study also found children are increasingly being directly targeted in some areas to become children soldiers or suicide bombers.

In other cases children die due to the indirect consequences of war such as starvation, lack of sanitation and lack of access to safe shelter.

They may also be caught in the crossfire of battles which are increasingly being fought in urban areas or become the victim of landmines and bombings.

George Graham from Save the Children UK told Euronews that “there is a war on children going on – and it’s a war that everybody has to take responsibility for”.

Graham accused governments of “turning a blind eye” to problematic nations.

But he says most of these children remain optimistic despite their situation: “They believe that they will have a prosperous future. It is on us – the adults in the world to make sure that that becomes a reality”.