Sri Lanka has, for better or worse, been in the news a lot lately. Their cricket team was the target of a violent terrorist attack in Pakistan while visiting for international matches. Back at home, the military is closing in on the last Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, sparking even more violence.
As government battles with the LTTE, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the country's northern highlands. Civilians are caught between the army and the militants without adequate access to food, clean water, and more worryingly, education and social services.
The civil violence in Sri Lanka has long disproportionately affected children. The LTTE were one of the first groups to use child soldiers, and continue to do so to this day. More worryingly, children and their families continue to be the targets of militants, according to an International Crisis Group report. With the conflict area inaccessible to aid groups, children also continue to face starvation and disease.
Let's hope the international community, once the fighting stops or slows, can move quickly to relieve the pain and hardship the children of Sri Lanka continue to experience.