Save the Children Calls for the Protection of Children Caught in Beirut Clashes
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2021) — Save the Children is calling for all parties involved in the clashes in Beirut to prevent a further escalation in violence and protect all civilians, especially children.
According to the Lebanese Red Cross, at least six people have been killed and dozens injured in deadly shootings south of the city. Images shared widely show terrified children hiding in the corridors of schools, waiting to be evacuated.
Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director in Lebanon, Mohamed Mannaa, said:
“We are dismayed by the scenes in Beirut today. Civilians, schoolchildren, and residents in the Tayouneh neighborhood and its surroundings are terrified. It is a stark reminder that things can escalate quickly. Our staff are telling us that families are afraid and have been desperate to get out of the area. They describe children crying in fear and hiding in their rooms, asking what the loud explosions were. These are the sounds they associate with the Port explosion in 2020. This will be a major setback for children’s mental health, who once again have to witness violence just as they start the new school term. With an estimated 1.3 million children at risk of missing out on a third year of school, their security in school and at home is vital for them to continue learning.
“All parties should exercise restraint and ensure that today’s violence is not a dangerous step towards further escalation. We urge Lebanese authorities to restore calm and ensure children are protected from violence and kept out of harm’s way at all times. As always, Save the Children stands ready to provide relief and aid to families residing in affected neighborhoods.”
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