The UN Children’s Fund is asking donors for $3.9 billion to help 41 million children survive conflicts and natural disasters around the world.

UNICEF made the request on Tuesday in Geneva and it said almost a third of the money was earmarked for children who live in Syria or who have fled the country over the civil war to nearby countries.

The top nations with crises for children include Yemen and Congo, in terms of UNICEF’s funding appeal.

According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, the impact of child protection work cannot be overstated.

"When children do not have safe places to play, when they cannot be reunited with their families, when they do not receive psycho-social support, they will not heal from the unseen scars of war," he noted.

According to the UN agency, children who are exposed to conflict can suffer such high levels of stress that their abilities to learn and to interact with others are reduced into adulthood.

Currently, 6.6 million children in Yemen and 5.5 million children in Syria lack access to protective services such as psychosocial support.

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Besides these two civil wars that involve outside military powers, 4 million children are without adequate support in Congo, which has been plagued by wars and by fighting among militias.

UNICEF’s aid also includes food, safe water, education and health care.

In 2018, UNICEF appealed for $3.8 billion and received only about three quarters of that amount.

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