Concern for children in Iraqi war zone

The war in Iraq is likely to have a profound effect on the
mental health of the 12 million children in Iraq, an independent
group of experts has warned.

New research commissioned by War Child Canada reveals that, even
before the outbreak of war, the mental health of Iraqi children was
suffering. Interviews with children in Baghdad and Basra and
questionnaires from school children revealed that the threat of war
was affecting their lives, with the majority reporting “strong,
daily fear”.

The children were worried that they might not live to become
adults and that something bad would happen to them or their

Many reported sleeping problems and nightmares, as well as
severe concentration problems. Extreme feelings of detachment were
also noted, and almost 40 per cent of children thought that life
was not worth living most of the time.

The research team claimed that Iraqi children had already been
badly traumatised as a result of 12 years of economic sanctions and
said the impact of a new war would be “catastrophic”.

– Our Common Responsibility from

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