The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has expressed grave concern about the impact of unexploded munitions on children in Iraq.
"February has been one of the most dangerous months for children in Iraq in recent times," said the UN agency. "Six boys have lost their lives, and another nine, as well as one girl, have been maimed by explosive remnants of war."
Unexploded munitions and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain one of the leading causes of killing and maiming of children in Iraq, confirmed UNICEF. "Boys in particular are affected."
The agency said that it was alarmed by the high number of children affected by such munitions and urged all stakeholders to accelerate efforts to clear existing mines and unexploded ordnance, expand risk education and promote victim assistance. Combined, this upholds children's right to a safe and protective environment.
UNICEF noted that it continues to work with partners including the Directorate of Mine Action within the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency to raise awareness and increase safety for children, their families and communities in highly contaminated areas.
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