Save the Children Federation

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Apr 21, 2014

Motherhood in a Syrian Refugee Camp

Photo by Giles Duley
Photo by Giles Duley

This is Save the Children's final report for this microproject. Our work continues for the children of Syria and we invite you to support our latest project in the region. Please take a moment to read a mother's story in her own words. Siwar* lives at Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, where her five children can take advantage of our programs. Here is her story in her own words.

I have been in Za’atari for a year and a half with my husband and our five children. The youngest is 8 months old and was born in the camp. We left Syria because our village was under heavy shelling.

Before the war, we lived a normal life in Syria. My kids used to play with friends and work with their uncle. They want to go back to their country where they grew up.

We miss our family, relatives and neighbors. I miss the village that I lived in all my life. I feel very lonely. The main problem is lack of medical services.

During my last pregnancy, I was in a lot of pain. I was alone when I gave birth to my daughter in the camp. In Syria, my relatives were there to support me during my past pregnancies. It’s been so hard to raise my youngest without them, and it has been difficult for us all living in a small trailer.

I worry about my children becoming sick. Two of them have already suffered from the flu. They are homesick and miss their cousins and grandparents—they too are lonely and isolated here.

We thought the conflict would end within one or two months. We didn’t expect all the killings and bloodshed, and we certainly didn’t expect to end up in Za’atari.

Today, over 5 million Syrian children need help. Save the Children is on the ground helping to keep children safe and providing the basics they need, like food and health care and offering programs to help them cope with tragedy. Please kindly donate to our Syrian Children’s Relief Fund.

* Names changed to protect the family's identity

Apr 16, 2014

Ending Newborn Deaths

#FIRSTDAY Infographic
#FIRSTDAY Infographic

The first 24 hours of a child's life are the most dangerous, with more than one million babies dying each year on their first and only day of life, according to new research published by Save the Children.

The new report, "Ending Newborn Deaths,"shows one half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife.

The children's aid agency says the deaths happen because of premature birth and complications during birth, such as prolonged labor, pre-eclampsia and infection, which can be avoided if quality health experts are present.

The research also found an additional 1.2 million babies are stillborn each year, their heartbeats stopping during labor because of childbirth complications, maternal infections and hypertension.

In a bid to save millions of newborn lives, Save the Children has called on world leaders to commit in 2014 to a blueprint for change – The Five Point Newborn Promise – which focuses on training and equipping enough skilled health workers to make sure no baby is born without proper help, and removing fees for all pregnancy and birth services.

The world has made amazing progress in reducing child mortality during the past decade – nearly halved from 12 million to 6.6 million – thanks to global political action on immunization, treatment of pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, family planning and nutrition.

But this progress could stall without urgent action to tackle scandalously high numbers of newborns dying. This report warns that newborn deaths now account for nearly half of all under-five deaths. 

Links:

Mar 5, 2014

Update from Somalia

Photo credit: Colin Crowley/Save the Children
Photo credit: Colin Crowley/Save the Children

After two decades of conflict, Somalia is the world’s most fragile state. Successive years of conflict, drought and flooding have put the country in a state of prolonged and chronic humanitarian crisis Population growth, increased pressure on resources, insecurity and prolonged political instability have made it harder for the poorest communities to cope with and recover from successive and recurrent shocks throughout the past two decades, particularly conflicts and droughts. Each shock sends the communities into deeper vulnerability and further erodes their means to prepare for the next crisis.

In 2011-2012, Somalia was badly affected by the first famine of the 21st century, leading for instance to massive displacements across the country. The scale and scope of that disaster has made it still very difficult for populations to recover, considering in particular that the country has faced several smaller-scale but recurrent shocks over the past couple of years: localized conflicts/displacements, flash flooding, IDP camp fires, etc.

For example, over 2013, Save the Children has responded to the following smaller-scale emergencies, in addition to its on-going higher-scale humanitarian programs:

-       Floods and cholera outbreak in Galgaduud;

-       IDP camps fires in Garowe, Bosasso and Hargeisa;

-       Support immediate food security needs in Mogadishu IDP camps

-       Evictions and Displacements

-       Polio and Measles Outbreak Mogadishu and Puntland

-       Floods in Puntland and Somaliland, following the passage of cyclone 03A;

To date, the overall humanitarian situation in Somalia remains critical and is expected to get worse in coming months as the impact of the poor Gu harvest is felt, especially in South and Central Somalia.

One million people still require aid to meet their basic needs and a further 1.7 million who recently emerged from the 2011 drought crisis could fall back into crisis without sustained support[1].

An estimated 70,000 children a year die before their fifth birthday, and 30.5% of women of reproductive age die due to pregnancy related causes.[2]

The ongoing conflict continues to cause death, upheaval and displacement.[3] Some more localized clan conflicts throughout the country also create further displacements and further pressure on scarce resources, for instance in Hiraan end of December 2013.

Food security in South Central Somalia is deteriorating as a result of failed sorghum harvests and a poor Gu harvest. The situation in parts of South and Central Somalia has been described by OCHA in its most recent bulletin as ‘dire’.

[1] http://www.unocha.org/cap/appeals/mid-year-review-consolidated-appeal-somalia-2013-2015

[2] http://www.who.int/hac/crises/som/sitreps/somalia_sitrep_october2013

[3] http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e483ad6

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