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Developing Countries: Mental Health

Department for International Development written question – answered on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the mental health needs of children fleeing conflict in (a) Syria, (b) Iraq, (c) Afghanistan and (d) Eritrea.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UK is committed to supporting children with mental health needs in conflict situations. We use assessments from humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations, to determine how we can best support these vulnerable children.

The assessments reinforce that psychological trauma amongst children is acute in some of the world’s worst conflicts. In Syria, the annual UN Humanitarian Needs Overview states that 1 in 4 children are at risk of developing mental health disorders. In Iraq, UNICEF judges emotional distress as a critical issue for children fleeing or currently living under Daesh. Afghan children are at risk of psychological distress, particularly in urban areas. On Eritrea, the impact of conflict on children, particularly their mental health needs, continues to be assessed, with UNHCR conducting a thorough assessment of each Eritrean child arriving into Ethiopia.

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