WASHINGTON, July 29 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - The EU is concerned about the negative impacts of raging crises in Syria and Gaza, as well as other parts of the world, on surviving children's mental health and future, David Sharrock, a spokesperson for humanitarian aid at the European Commission, said Tuesday.
"Children are among the most vulnerable victims of conflict and the European Commission is concerned about the impact of war on children's development and future," Sharrock told RIA Novosti.
The violence experienced or witnessed during a conflict can have long-term repercussions on children, the spokesman noted.
"Even though at times they can find extraordinary ways to cope with traumatic experiences, the long-term psychosocial effects of conflict may undermine their future," Sharrock said.
The European Commission representative noted that conflicts affects children in multiple ways.
"Boys and girls can be recruited by armed groups, separated from their families and forcibly displaced, and they can get injured and even killed. Also, often children cannot go to school during and in the immediate aftermath of conflicts," Sharrock explained.
The Commission dedicates more than half of its humanitarian funding to conflict-affected areas and nearly 12 percent specifically to child-focused relief organizations.
"The European Commission, as a donor of humanitarian aid, supports UNICEF and Save the Children, two organizations which are directly engaged in providing assistance to the children-victims of conflict. In 2013, the Commission distributed over €144 million to projects implemented by these two organizations," Sharrock said adding that funding to UNICEF includes a €23 million in support of children who are victims of the crisis in Syria.
Sharrock underlined that the EU supports children affected by conflict, namely through child protection activities, psychosocial support, mine risk education, and actions against the recruitment of child soldiers.
"The European Commission’s EU Children of Peace initiative funds humanitarian education projects for children in conflict situations, helping those boys and girls around the world who are deprived of growing up in peace," he said.
According to the most recent reports Syrian conflict has killed over 170,000 people since it started in 2011.
More than 1,000 Palestinians have died during the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip continuing for some three weeks, Palestinian Emergency Services spokesman Ashraf Qudra told RIA Novosti on Saturday.