To Our iACT Community and Beyond,
Never has it been clearer that the protection of children must be at the forefront of our discussions of war, violence, and displacement. The number of children killed, maimed, and displaced by conflict this year is simply staggering. There are currently three million children who have been forced to flee the violence in Sudan, making it the largest child displacement crisis in the world. Children were among the 1,400 victims of the attacks on October 7 in Israel. Reports are now showing that three children are killed or injured every day in Ukraine, and one child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza.
One child every ten minutes.
We are failing on an unconscionable level to center and prioritize the safety and wellbeing of children caught in war and conflict. They are dying both from the violence itself and as a result of the fallout from lack of resources and safety. Those who survive are often forced to flee, sometimes with nothing but the clothing on their back, experiencing deep loss and trauma as they seek refuge. These experiences will shape the rest of their lives as well as their long-term development.
Children should never be accepted as collateral damage of war waged by governments and their armies. I beg us to lean into our shared humanity and our responsibility as members of this global community to create peaceful environments for EVERY child to feel safe, grow, and thrive. They cannot be an afterthought. They must be our first priority–just as our own children are.
Our concern at iACT continues to grow each day, especially for those regions where we work alongside refugee communities. We have seen far too often that as the world moves on, those left behind find the process of rebuilding their lives ever more daunting physically, financially, and emotionally. In these circumstances, iACT stays committed for the long-term and invites our partners, donors, and peers to do the same.
Today and every day, iACT stands in solidarity with the children and families who continue to ask for their right to live in safety and peace in Sudan, in Gaza, in Israel and Ukraine, and in all corners of the world. We stand firm in the belief that children must never be targets or “acceptable losses” in the world’s battles. We can always choose a different path. A path that upholds their right to a healthy and happy childhood.