87 million children under 7 "have known nothing but conflict"

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Two year old Yusef lives in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq with his two brothers, mother and grandmother. Photo: UNICEF/UN02517/Schermbrucker

Some 87 million children across the world under seven "have known nothing but conflict" according to the UN Children's Fund.

UNICEF says that living in conflict zones hinders the brain growth of young people and robs them of their childhood.

Dianne Penn reports.

More than 86.7 million children under the age of seven have spent their entire lives in conflict zones, a situation which UNICEF says is putting their brain development at risk.

Children living in violent circumstances are often exposed to extreme trauma, which can inhibit brain growth.

The agency's chief of Early Child Development, Pia Britto, says that conflict robs young people of their childhood but also can leave deep-rooted emotional scars as well as hindering brain development.

UNICEF has been working to keep the young in child-friendly environments, providing emergency kits with learning and play materials in humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises.

The kits have supported more than 800,000 children living in emergency contexts in the past year.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 53″

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