Skip to main content

Antonio* (15) became separated from his parents when his home town of Palma was attacked in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Antonio is currently safe with a foster family, while Save the Children is working to find his parents through our family reunification program.  *Name changed to protect identity

Almost 35 million Children Are on the Run, They Need the World's Full Support

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 18, 2021) — After the UN said an unprecedented 82.4 million people across the globe are displaced, some 42 percent of whom are younger than 18, Save the Children released the following statement.

Gabriella Waaijman, Global Humanitarian Director at Save the Children, said:

 "While the COVID-19 crisis bound many of us to our homes, almost 35 million children were on the run across the globe. Forced from their homes by storms and floods, devastating droughts, relentless conflict and by the impacts of the pandemic."

"We come across displaced people almost daily, after they fled their communities with hardly any possessions. In Syria, Yemen, in the Sahel region. Often, children are traveling alone after they lost their families in the chaos, as we've recently seen in Mozambique, where children faced atrocities as they fled. In Mozambique alone, hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes over the past year, adding to the global record highs of people being displaced in their own country."

Antonio*, a 15-year-old boy from the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, recently told Save the Children: 

 "When I arrived in Pemba, I looked around for people I knew, and I didn't see anyone. I didn't see my friends or family. There weren't many people on the boat because most of them were still in the bush." 

"Children who have fled their homes have also lost family and friends or have been forced out of school," Waaijman continued. "These things can have a deep impact on children, and they need support to cope with their loss and their new situation." 

"We are on the eve of the biggest global hunger crisis of the 21st century; the climate crisis is crippling livelihoods, and conflicts are relentless. The world must come together to help children face this triple threat, or we are bound to see the numbers rise." 

 "We need to tackle the root causes – working towards ceasefires, tackling the climate crisis, battling inequality. But until then, displaced people need our full support with shelter, clean water, cash, safety. Governments need to immediately and fully fund responses to support people who were forced to leave their homes through no fault of their own." 

*Name changed to protect identity

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.