No Place for Children
The Impact of Five Years of War on Syria's Chldren and Their Childhoods
| UNICEF | 2016
Every Syrian child under the age of five has known nothing but a lifetime shaped by war – that’s an estimated 2.9 million children inside Syria and at least 811,000 in neighbouring countries.
Addressing the needs and rights of all children affected by this conflict is essential if we are to avoid the loss of an entire generation, and decades of development progress.
Any child who has lived through the last five years will never know the Syria their parents remember. Bombs have turned classrooms, health centres and parks to rubble. The streets where they should be able to play are blocked by checkpoints or littered with explosive remnants of war. Schools and hospitals have closed in the thousands.
Diseases once vanquished, have returned. Out of work and in debt, parents can no longer afford basic life essentials. The supply of water to neighbourhoods is often unreliable or contaminated. In some parts of Syria, once a developed and self-sufficient country, children are dying of severe acute malnutrition.
In Syria’s neighbouring countries, the number of refugees is nearly ten times higher today than in 2012. Half of all refugees are children. Some come by car, while others walk for days on end before reaching safety. Since the war began in 2011, 15,525 unaccompanied and separated children have crossed Syria’s borders, 306,000 Syrian children have been born as refugees.
Syria is now the most deadly and complex conflict of our time; its impact is affecting millions and is being felt across continents.