By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet</p> <p>ANKARA (AA) - One in five children live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $1.90 a day, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a joint report Thursday.</p> <p>The report said almost half of the world’s children live in "moderate" poverty -- under $3.10 a day.</p> <p>Almost everywhere, poverty disproportionately affects children, as they are twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty, it said.</p> <p>The vast majority of children have no effective social protection coverage.</p> <p>Only 35 percent of children are covered by social protection worldwide, which is 87 percent in Europe and Central Asia, 66 percent in the Americas, 28 percent in Asia and 16 percent in Africa.</p> <p>"Poverty hits children the hardest, since its consequences can last a lifetime. The poor nutrition and lost years of education that often result are tragic both for the individual and for his or her community and society,” UNICEF Associate Director and Chief of Social Policy Alexandra Yuster said in the report.</p> <p>“Child poverty can be reduced overnight with adequate social protection,” ILO’s Director of Social Protection Isabel Ortiz said.</p> <p>The report urged the rapid expansion of child and family benefits to help achieve universal social protection for children.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>
By Hussein al-Amir
BAGHDAD (AA) – Four refugee children died on Tuesday when their tent caught fire in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province, according to a local police officer.
"Four children from the same family lost their lives when their tent caught fire in Nazrawa camp," Police Captain Hamed al-Obaidi told Anadolu Agency.
He said the parents of the dead children sustained burns and were transferred to hospital for treatment.
Local media outlets said a heater had exploded and caused the blaze.
In the summer of 2014, the Daesh terrorist group seized one third of Iraq's territory and left around 5.8 million people internally displaced.
After a three-year war, the Iraqi government declared late in 2017 that Daesh's military presence in Iraq had been all but ended through operations backed by a U.S.-led international alliance.
However, many displaced people are still unable to return to their areas of origin which have been destructed by the war and lack basic infrastructure while some of them are not totally secured.
By Mohammed al-Samei
ADEN, Yemen (AA) – Thousands of children have been killed and injured in war-torn conflict since 2015, UN children’s fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.
“Over 6,700 children [were] verified killed or injured since 2015,” UNICEF said on Twitter.
It said nearly 358,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition require immediate treatment, going on to call for halting attacks in the war-torn country.
Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country and the crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
Saudi Arabia and Sunni allies accuse the Houthis of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran.
Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates that around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.
By Mehmet Kara </p> <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Children in the Central African country of Cameroon enjoyed cotton candy for the first time in their lives thanks to a Turkish aid agency.</p> <p>Volunteers from the Istanbul-based Hak Humanitarian Relief Association brought a cotton candy machine to Kousséri city -- where they had dug wells, delivered clothing and offered to conduct cataract surgery – to make children happy at an orphanage called Zahra. </p> <p>The machine they set up in the garden of the orphanage quickly grabbed the children’s attention, Ensar Gumustas, one of the agency’s volunteers, told Anadolu Agency. </p> <p>The children, who saw cotton candy for the first time in their lives, were in awe as they sampled it, according to Gumustas. </p> <p>“They were first scared of the cotton candy that we made and then started eating it,” he said. </p> <p>“We were both very affected emotionally by the situation and became very happy.”</p> <p>Gumustas said he would never forget those moments. </p> <p>“It was the first time that I felt that way,” he said, adding: “I will never forget that day in my life.” </p> <p>
By Dejan Maksimovic
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Bosnia Herzegovina Geeta Narayan said that young people are leaving Bosnia because they lost patience.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an interview, Narayan said that youth of Bosnia has lost the patience due to lack of hearing and investment in them.
Explaining the activities of UNICEF in Bosnia, Narayan said that they are dealing with the children in the early years of their education as well as their social life and growth development.
"UNICEF is dealing with a wide range of issues concerning the rights of the child. We work in the fields of education, child care, social inclusion and health and early growth and development of children," said Narayan.
- Obstacles to achieving full potential –
According to her, in Bosnia, as in many other countries of the world, children with disabilities are excluded from education and have many obstacles in order to realize their full potential.
"We have done a lot of events, mini-campaigns and, among other things, we wanted to say that it is best for children with difficulty, as well as for children with disabilities, to be included in a joint educational program because they learn both. This helps all children learn diversity, respect, and mutual support. In September, for example, we organized an event where we recognized individuals who made a special contribution to promoting the social inclusion of children with disabilities," said a UNICEF representative in BiH.
Narayan pointed out that this year is a particularly significant one for UNICEF in Bosnia and its partners were related to refugee and migrant children.
"With the increased number of migrants and refugees in the country, the number of children who found themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation has increased. What was our task, or to respond to our mission and existence, is to provide them with health care, immunization or psychosocial support. We do a lot on this and get involved in a regular school program, because it is the best way for children to return to normality, although they are in a situation that is not normal, but at least in some way they get a feel. Many of them were exposed to various threats, violence, and exploitation risks, so that everything that can be done for these children is indeed one of our important priorities," said Narayan.
- Quick Answer Application –
According to Narayan, UNICEF is not focused only on one area, but on several of them, with the aim of protecting the rights of children.
"There are many things, such as education, health care, social inclusion, but if we had to isolate one area, then it is a concern for adolescents, children aged ten to 18 years. We recently launched an initiative that we called the U-report. It is a new tool for communicating with young people, which allows them to ask questions only if they have a telephone, and we get an answer right away. In this way we get a direct answer from them about what they think about what is happening today. This way we can have instant answers and thus take into account what young people want to say. The application is completely free and confidential, so far we have about 400 registered users, and we hope in the future that we will have about ten thousand," said Narayan.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was founded in 1946 with the aim of overcoming the obstacles that poverty, violence, illness and discrimination cause in the development of the child.
By Ahmet Dursun<br>
ANKARA (AA) – In 2016 Saudi Arabia offered around $10,000 for families in Darfur, Sudan affected by the Sudanese civil war to send their children to fight in Yemen, the New York Times claimed on Friday.
In the article, “On the Front Line of the Saudi War in Yemen? Child Soldiers from Darfur,” the newspaper quoted Hager Shomo Ahmed, 16, saying: “Families know that the only way their lives will change is if their sons join the war and bring them back the money.”
He was only 14 when the offer was made to his family, according to the Times.
The report also quoted Hafiz Ismail Mohammed, a critic of Sudan's government and former banker, saying: “People are desperate. They are fighting in Yemen because they know that in Sudan they don’t have a future.”
“We are exporting soldiers to fight like they are a commodity we are exchanging for foreign currency,” Mohammed added, according to the daily.
Most of the Sudanese fighters come from “the battle-scarred and impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were killed and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict” in the nation of 40 million in Northeast Africa, said the Times.
- Children said to make up '20-40 pct of military units'
“At any time for nearly four years as many as 14,000 Sudanese militiamen have been fighting in Yemen in tandem with the local militia aligned with the Saudis, according to several Sudanese fighters who have returned and Sudanese lawmakers who are attempting to track it. Hundreds, at least, have died there,” the daily reported.
“Five fighters who have returned from Yemen and another about to depart said that children made up at least 20 percent of their units. Two said children were more than 40 percent,” reported the Times.
The newspaper said Saudi Arabia paid Sudanese children a salary starting at the riyal equivalent of around $480 a month, with bonuses for combat, deposited directly into the Faisal Islamic Bank of Sudan, partly owned by Saudis.
“At the end of a six-month rotation, each fighter also received a one-time payment of at least 700,000 Sudanese pounds — roughly $10,000 at the current official exchange rate,” the Times claimed.
Speaking to the paper, Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition denied allegations the kingdom was recruiting child soldiers as “fictitious and unfounded.”
Yemen plunged into civil war in 2014 when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, forcing the government to flee to Saudi Arabia.
A year later, Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains.
The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has devastated the country's infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times.
By Rauf Maltas
SANLIURFA, Turkey (AA) – Children suffering from a genetic disorder have tasted the Turkish dessert baklava for the first time in their lives.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a disease widespread among children in Turkey's Sanliurfa, a province known for its traditional desserts.
Sanliurfa Phenylketonuria Association (SUPKU) agreed with a baklava master to produce baklava specially made for children with PKU.
Their request being fulfilled, the children visited the baklava shop to taste the special baklava with gluten-free flour and chestnuts.
One of the children, Zeliha Gunes, told Anadolu Agency that she lives with difficulties as she can only consume a limited variety of dishes.
"In my life of 16 years, I never had the opportunity to eat out," Gunes said, adding that she had the luxury of eating baklava for the first time in her life and that it was delicious.
Ahmet Giray, another child with PKU, said it was the first time he ate a dessert in his life.
He added that last year, he had been left out when he went to a restaurant with his classmates and couldn't eat anything.
SUPKU head Mustafa Ciftci said the 130 children suffering from PKU, a genetic and metabolic disease, in Sanliufra could not eat out.
"Because everything has to be prepared specially," Ciftci said.
Baklava master Mehmet Avci said there was much demand for the special dessert across Turkey.
JERUSALEM (AA) – With a sad look on his face, Shadi Farah, a 15-year-old minor, recalls abuses at the hands of Israeli interrogators in prison.
“Israel is using all heinous methods during interrogation from suffocation, beating to giving us hallucinogenic pills,” Farah told Anadolu Agency.
“I remember spending days suffering from nightmares and headaches because of the drugs that we were forced to take.”
The Palestinian minor was arrested in December 2015 and sentenced to three years in prison on charges of attempting to “inflict serious harm” on Israelis.
He was also ordered to pay a fine equivalent to $1,400.
According to the Defense for Palestinian Children rights group, Palestinian minors are often made to sign documents written in Hebrew despite the fact that they don’t know the language.
They are also often interrogated in the absence of their parents or lawyers, the rights group said.
Children are also often detained alongside adults, and minors frequently report being kicked, slapped and blindfolded during arrest and/or interrogation.
"Around 90 percent of detained children are subject to verbal abuse and humiliation by Israeli army officers," Khaled Quzmar, the head of the rights group, said.
He said 30 percent of Palestinian minors held by Israel have suffered physical abuse while in custody.
According to Quzmar, 80 percent of detained children were denied access to legal advice before being interrogated.
Ahmad al-Zatari, a 15-year-old minor, said he was beaten and suffocated by an Israeli interrogator during interrogation.
“I remember it very clearly,” al-Zatari said, fighting back his tears.
“I stepped into the room and one integrator was there,” the Palestinian minor said. “He started asking questions and calling for quick answers.”
“I was only 12-year-old during the interrogation and the questions were not clear to me so I could not answer any,” al-Zatari said.
Thirty minutes later, he recalled, the Israeli interrogator turned off the cameras and started beating me.
“He jumped over me and put his hands around my neck and started yelling at me,” the minor said.
“It was a horrible experience,” the Palestinian child said. “I thought he was going to kill me. At that point, I started thinking about my family and that I would not see my mother again.”
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, an NGO, roughly 900 Palestinian minors have been detained by Israeli forces this year.
As of 2018, roughly 270 children continue to languish inside detention facilities across Israel.
By Umar Farooq</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The number of children uninsured during U.S. President Donald Trump's first year in office increased by 276,000, according to a report by Georgetown University.</p> <p>Researches found the uptick disrupted a nearly decade-long trend in which the rate of uninsured children decreased. Washington D.C. was the only area that experienced a decrease in uninsured children in 2017.</p> <p>Texas had the highest number of uninsured children, with a ratio of more than one-in-five children uninsured, according to the report released Thursday.</p> <p>This resulted in an additional 80,000 Texan children not being covered in 2017.</p> <p>"Uninsured children are more likely to have unmet health needs and lack a usual source of care,” said Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families. “Untreated medical conditions such as asthma lead to missed school days and reduce children’s chances for success in school. These findings should raise concern about the chances for all children to grow and thrive.” </p> <p>One reason for the increase in uninsured children is several states opted not to expand Medicaid coverage for parents and low-income adults, said the report.</p> <p>Medicaid expansion, a part of the Affordable Care Act created under the administration of former President Barack Obama, offers low-cost or free health care services to low-income individuals and families.</p> <p>The report noted despite a strong economy and low unemployment, "federal actions contributed to a perception that publicly funded health coverage options are no longer available."</p> <p>And in some cases, children of immigrants are not being enrolled in Medicaid programs due to fear of retaliation or being unaware of their options, even though they are U.S. citizens.</p> <p>"This constellation of national trends has likely created an ‘unwelcome mat’ effect where families are unaware of their options or deterred from seeking coverage," the report said.</p> <p>
By Rafiu Ajakaye
Lagos Nigeria (AA) – A boat capsized in central Nigeria drowning at least eight people while nine other were rescued alive, an emergency agency official said on Sunday.
Aliyu Shehu Kafindagi, regional head of the country's emergency agency NEMA, told Anadolu Agency that the "overloaded boat" capsized in Showuru Lafiagi area of central Kwara state late Saturday while traveling across the River Niger.
“16 adults and one child were in the boat when it capsized," Kafindagi said.
“Five bodies have been recovered so far," the official confirmed and added that a rescue and evacuation operation "continues for the remaining three".
Early Sunday, the country's official news agency NAN quoted the police as confirming the boat mishap but silent on the casualties.
The agency also reported that the figure of drowned people were between 12 and 19 — most of whom were children–, citing Secretary of the Lafiagi Traditional Council Sulyman Aliyu as saying.
Boat mishap is common in many riverine areas of Nigeria because of what officials called scanty regard for safety measures and overcrowding.