聯合國兒童基金會指出 8,700萬7歲以下兒童生活中只有衝突

 

聯合國兒童基金會指出 8,700萬7歲以下兒童生活中只有衝突

A Muhamasheen child is seen inside her house in the Muhamasheen area of Mathbah, in Sana'a, Yemen, November 2, 2015.

Yemen is suffering and its people are facing some of the worst moments in human history. This extreme hardship is affecting the most vulnerable of the Yemeni society. The absence of any coping mechanism for such vulnerable households is further pushing millions of Yemenis into extreme poverty.  This tragic turn is exacerbated by the suspension of the Social Welfare Fund (SWF) since March 2015, which has been the key "public social protection" buffer, covering almost 7.9 million Yemeni lives. Out of these poverty stricken millions, are an even further marginalized group known as the Muhamasheen. They survive on the fringes of society, living in slums and peripheral areas of urban, semi-urban, and rural Yemen. But the recent conflict has not been the sole cause of their misery. This community has been neglected for a fairly long time. With limited access to basic social services, their social indicators are far worse than that of any average citizen. And now the conflict has worsened their condition to a question of survival.

In December 2015, a recently concluded Muhamasheen Mapping Survey (MMS) has indicated that only 25 % of all Muhamasheen have durable housing, compared to 54 % of the general population; only 9% have access to piped water compared to the national figure of 29%; almost 22 % have to survive out in the cold, living in tents and makeshift hutments made of tin and cardboard; the majority 59% live in dilapidated and deserted houses. The statistics for the affected children is a lot worse: almost 52% of their children between ages 10 -14 age group, cannot read and write, compared to 17% at the national level and 40% of the poorest quintile; for the age group of over 15 years, 80% cannot read and write, compared to 40% of the same group at the national level, and 68% of poorest quintile. 

The Social Welfare Fund exclusion error margin

© UNICEF/UN013962/Shamsan – 一名年幼的兒童身處也門沙那的家裏。

最新資料揭示在大腦發育關鍵時期身處衝突中的兒童人數

紐約/香港,2016年3月24日—聯合國兒童基金會指出,超過8,670萬7歲以下兒童從出生以來就生活在戰亂衝突地區,嚴重影響他們的大腦發育。

從出生到7歲這段期間,兒童的大腦每秒鐘可啟動高達1,000個腦細胞。腦細胞又名「神經元」,每個在1秒內就能與另外10,000個神經元數千次連接。建立大腦神經元互相連接,確立兒童的未來發展,決定兒童的身心健康和學習能力。

生活在戰亂衝突地區的兒童通常會遭受到嚴重的精神創傷,使他們深受負面壓力的影響,會抑制大腦細胞連接,繼而對兒童一生的認知水準、社交能力和生理發育都會帶來明顯的不良後果。

聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)全球幼兒發展項目主任皮婭‧布里托(Pia Britto)說:「衝突不僅直接威脅兒童的人身安全,,兒童還要面對難以磨滅的情感傷害」

UNICEF資料表明,全球6歲或以下兒童中,每11名就有1名要在戰亂衝突中渡過最關鍵的大腦發育期。

布里托指出:「衝突讓兒童失去安全、家人和朋友,剝奪了他們玩耍和日常生活的樂趣。這些都是童年時代最能讓兒童全面發展、有效學習的重要元素。若能在幼兒時期積累這些經驗,他們成年後才有能力為社會和經濟做出貢獻,建設更富強的社會。正因如此,我們才需要投放更多資源,為衝突地區的兒童及其監護人提供學習資源、社會心理支援及兒童友好家園等關鍵的物資和服務,讓他們找回童年美好的感覺。」

兒童出生後大腦有2.53億個能夠正常運作的神經元,但大腦最終能否在成年期達到約10億個可連接神經元的完全能力,很大程度上取決於幼兒發展,其中包括母乳餵哺和確保幼兒營養均衡、監護人早期啟蒙孩子、讓兒童在安全和健康的環境中成長和玩耍的學習機會等綜合因素。

UNICEF致力為突發及持續危機中的兒童提供人道救援及兒童友好空間,為他們提供包括文具、圖書和玩具等物資的緊急套裝。僅在2015年內,應急套裝為逾80萬名生活在緊急狀況下的兒童提供幫助。