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Children in Syria: an ongoing crisis


Business No: 122680572RR0001

Children in Syria: an ongoing crisis

More than a decade of humanitarian crisis and hostilities has left children in Syria facing one of the most complex emergencies in the world. Two thirds of the population requires assistance because of a worsening economic crisis, continued localized hostilities, mass displacement and devastated public infrastructure.

Around 90 per cent of families in the country live in poverty, while more than 50 per cent are food insecure. The economic crisis is worsening negative coping mechanisms and particularly affecting female-headed households while contributing to the normalization of gender-based violence and child exploitation.

Harsh winter weather with freezing temperatures and heavy rains is set to make things worse. Scarcity of fuel and lack of means for heating will make it extremely challenging for many people to make ends meet.

For families with children, living in urban slums where housing infrastructure has been destroyed and where there is high level of displacement and poverty, fending off the cold, let alone providing for their children’s basic needs, can be an enormous challenge.

The conflict has also brought one of the largest education crises in recent history, with a whole generation of Syrian children paying the price of conflict. Education facilities are overstretched, and many schools cannot be used because they have been destroyed, damaged, or are being used to shelter displaced families or for military purposes. By late 2022, only two-thirds of schools were fully functional, while there were 2.4 million children out of school and 1.6 million at risk of dropping out.

Last fall, a cholera outbreak was declared in Syria and suspected cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) surpassed 35,000, with cases detected in all governorates. To keep children and communities safe, UNICEF is continuing to invest in preventive measures and efforts to implement a rapid response to curb the spread of the disease and limit its negative impacts.

UNICEF and partners are working in Syria and across the region to protect children, to help them cope with the impact of conflict and to resume their childhoods. This includes improving access to education and psychosocial support services to help children and caregivers to recover from trauma and to restore a sense of normalcy.

UNICEF delivers critical humanitarian assistance, such as vaccines and other health and nutrition items across the country, including hard-to-reach areas. Meanwhile, UNICEF and partners are improving school facilities, training teachers and repairing water and sanitation facilities.

In the event that UNICEF receives more funds than required to respond to this crisis, your gift will help support UNICEF’s work for children around the world, wherever the need is greatest.