FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 9, 2017) — As Iraq's Prime Minister congratulates the armed forces for their "victory" in Mosul, Save the Children is warning that a generation of children are at risk of being lost to severe psychological damage. Many children who have made it through the conflict alive appear to be deeply traumatized, left numb and emotionless by the horrors they witnessed inside Mosul and during their flight to safety. Even with adequate help, they will likely take years to heal. But investment in psychological support, including counseling, is hovering around zero.
Save the Children is calling for an urgent boost to funding for mental health support as children and their families begin rebuilding their homes and lives.
"The battle for Mosul may be over but its children are still living in hell," said Ana Locsin, Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director. "This war has come at a terrible cost. Children were abused, starved and bombed. And now their homes and minds are in ruins.
"Time and time again we’re seeing children who remain haunted by memories of extreme violence, or of loved ones killed in front of them. For children and their families to process these horrors and rebuild their lives, psychological support will be absolutely crucial.
"But right now the world is providing next to no funding for mental health. Without urgent care, the legacy of this conflict will be a generation of damaged children."
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