Children caught up in wars and natural disasters

Children entering a camp for displaced people.
Many children are forced to live in makeshift shelters to escape armed conflict, as here in Somalia. © SDC

Half of the world’s refugees are children. Switzerland is working to provide them with a safe environment and future prospects.

“No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land”. This quote by the young Somalian poet Warsan Shire reflects the tragic destiny of millions of children and youth, who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or other dangers.

Half of the 65 million people, who are currently displaced, have not even reached the age of 18. At the same time, one in four children grows up in a conflict or disaster zone.

Children and youth are the most vulnerable in humanitarian crises and are particularly exposed to exploitation, forced recruitment, poverty, abuse and insecurity. However, it is exactly these children and youth, who determine the future and development of the affected regions.

17 years to find lasting solutions

Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq – today’s crises are protracted, and it takes an average of 17 years to find a sustainable solution for the displaced. During this period, they face great uncertainty. Provisional shelter, medical services, food as well as learning and training opportunities are not enough to give children and youth prospects in the region. In order not to lose the potential of this young generation, they need protection, support and education. Together with its partners, Switzerland is also committed to help young people in crises find hope, perspectives and future opportunities.