Children at risk

By Editorial Board
March 19, 2023

According to Unicef, at least 10 million children are at risk from growing violence in the central Sahel region of Africa. The countries which form the major part of this triangle of violence include Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The region has historically been a volatile one, with Mali seeing continuous disturbances and war over the past eleven years, while Burkina Faso faced at least three attempted coups in 2022 alone. In addition, armed groups have also closed down over 8300 schools in the area, putting children and families at risk. The fact that Unicef had received only a third of the $391 million to help stabilize the region obviously makes things far worse for these children and their families.


To make matters worse, the violence appears to be spreading from the Sahel to neighbouring areas, including Togo, Ghana and other countries in the region. This is not good news for Africa, where countries have undergone erratic and varied experiences in terms of development, with some pushing ahead at a rapid pace, such as Rwanda, while others continue to struggle with violence and civil unrest. The situation in the Sahel and neighbouring countries is also terrible news for the world. It reflects how much needs to be done to save these children and the millions others in the neighbouring countries as well as those in other parts of the world who suffer as a result of political instability, rising food prices and the crisis this has brought to so many families.

We see the crisis in our own country where we hear of parents poisoning children rather than watching them starve. It is quite obvious that the developed world needs to step in and take better care of Africa if the world is to be stabilized. This should be particularly so for children, so often the innocent victims of wars and political events beyond their control. Most children everywhere in the world seek only food and, in many cases, a decent place to live and a reliable education. Denying them even this is nothing less than a disaster and will push the world back many decades. As more and more people face the unrest caused by violence between groups unable to come to terms with each other and within countries where stability has not been found even after years of violence which has destroyed generations of families, we must make sure that the future of the world’s children is not marked by violence, hunger, and crime. This is not the world we need to leave behind for our children.