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Use of crafts, sports helping anxious displaced children in Yemen

According to a new report, children make up nearly 60 percent of the more than 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Yemen, many of whom suffer from trauma or distress due to leaving their homes, IRIN reports.

"Almost all child IDPs in the south had distress or trauma upon their arrival in areas of displacement," Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative told the news outlet.

The most common side effects tend to be unconscious urination, nightmares and bedwetting, according to a recent report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

To try and help the 8,000 plus children experiencing bouts of fear and anxiety, government officials and humanitarian groups have started to introduce sports and crafts to IDP children living in makeshift camps.

Although no formal evaluations have been done on the results of such activities, those involved with the children believe it's working.

"From observations by volunteers and staff monitoring these activities, it has been found that children participating in the activities are getting increased psychological well-being," Stina Carlsson, advocacy and communication manager with Save The Children Sweden told the publication. "Nightmares and bedwetting, which affected the children when they had just arrived from Abyan, have decreased." 
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