UNICEF chief urges action to protect children after US school shooting

UNICEF chief urges action to protect children after US school shooting

UNITED NATIONS, May 27 (APP): In the wake of the recent deadly shooting in an elementary school in the US state of Texas, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has posed the question: How many more children will die before leaders act?

At least 19 children and two teachers were killed on Tuesday when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School in the small city of Uvalde, Texas, located near the border with Mexico.

Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s Executive Director, said there had already been “horrific attacks” this year on schools in Afghanistan, Ukraine, the United States, West Africa and beyond.

“Tragedy after tragedy, shooting after shooting, young life after young life: how many more children will die before government leaders act to keep children and their schools safe? Because until they do, these horrors will continue,” she said in a statement.

Ms. Russell emphasized that outside of their homes, school was the one place where children should feel safest.

She noted that in addition to the lives lost, “many more children, teachers and school staff who witnessed the carnage, will bear the emotional and psychological scars for the rest of their lives”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was deeply shocked and saddened by “the heinous mass shooting”, saying it was particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims were children.

The UN chief has?extended his heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims?and to the entire?community, his Spokesperson said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed expressed her outrage in a post on Twitter.

“When children go to school, they should only be concerned about learning,” she wrote. “Children should not go to school fearing for their lives!”

Ms. Mohammed said her heartfelt prayers were with the families, classmates and teachers who were mourning this “devastating loss”.