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Hundreds of thousands of children on the run in Haiti

According to UNICEF, gang violence in Haiti has forced more than 300,000 children to flee. Many are exposed to violence and sexual assault. Some are forced to join criminal gangs in order to survive.

According to the UN Children's Fund UNICEF, more than 300,000 children are fleeing gang violence in Haiti. This is an increase of 60 percent since March. Children therefore make up more than half of the people who have become homeless there in the past four months.

In order to survive, children are forced to join violent gangs. They often have no access to food, health care, clean water and sanitation, according to UNICEF. Displaced children and young people are also at higher risk of sexual assault, exploitation, abuse and family separation.

“The children are the first victims of this humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes,” said Executive Director Catherine Russell. The displaced girls and boys urgently need protection and assistance from the international community.

More than 2,500 people killed or injured

Armed gangs control most of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the main access roads. According to the UN, more than 2,500 people have been killed or injured since the beginning of the year.

Many children live in makeshift accommodation, including schools, which are in poor hygienic conditions. This increases the risk of disease. More and more schools are being closed.

According to UN estimates, there are around 600,000 refugees in the small Caribbean state. Around half of the eleven million residents need help to survive. However, the UN programs for Haiti are seriously underfunded.

Another problem for the people of Haiti is the beginning of the hurricane season. In June, UNICEF warned that the humanitarian situation could worsen further due to the hurricanes. The organization said it was preparing by stockpiling food, medical supplies and other essential goods to shorten delivery times in the country.

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