At least 550,000 babies reportedly died as a result of armed conflict between 2013 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries, according to a new report by an international nongovernmental organisation, Save the Children.

The organisation said this is an average of over 100,000 every year.

The countries include: Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia.

Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children International, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, in a statement in Abuja, said these were the countries where children were hardest hit by conflict in 2017.

Thorning-Schmidt said the infants succumbed to indirect effects of conflict and war such as hunger, damaged infrastructure and hospitals, a lack of access to health care and sanitation, and the denial of Sis.

According to Thorning-Schmidt, the babies probably would not have died if they had not been living in areas affected by conflict.

“Our report shows that the way today’s wars are being fought is causing more suffering for children. Almost one in five children are living in areas impacted by conflict- more than at any time in the past two decades. The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war.

“It is shocking that in the 21st century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple – children and civilians should never be targeted,” he said.

Also, the Country Director of the organisation, Ben Foot, at the launch of Stop the War on Children campaign in Abuja, said that Save the Children analysis showed that the situation was getting worse.

He said: “Our analysis clearly shows the situation is getting worse for children and the world is allowing this travesty to happen.

“Everyday children come under attack because armed groups and military groups disregard international laws and treaties. From the use of chemical weapons to rape as a weapon of war, war crimes are being committed with impunity.”

The organisation called on the international community not to tolerate and hold accountable perpetrators who break the rule of war, urging independent bodies to probe and analyse all violations of humanitarian laws, human rights especially children rights.

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