Due to a civil war that has raged on since 2011 despite promises of a treaty, 13.5 million people in Syria are currently in need of aid. 95% of the Syrian population lacks adequate health care, 80% of Syrians live in poverty, 70% lack clean water, and 50% of Syrian children are out of school. In fact, the U.N Children’s Agency has stated that this war has reverted 10 years of progress in Syrian education. Not only that, but 14,000 of the war’s 386,000 casualties have involved children. Those children who are alive suffer through dangerous conditions where they witness enough violence and hardship to last a lifetime.
Sad enough as that is, these situations only grow worse by the day. 3.7 million children have been born in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. More than 80% of them are affected by the conflicts. They suffer harassment, endangerment, sexual abuse and more. 60% of these violations are due to explosives. One in three children have reported being either shot at, assaulted, or used as human shields, some barely escaping with their lives. Those who survive these experiences are considered lucky.
Other children are forced to fight in a war that isn’t theirs. In 2015, in over half of UNICEF cases, children recruited to fight were under 15 years old. Earlier, children only made up around 20% of recruits. Now, children are on the front lines as soldiers, aides, nurses, and messengers. Not only are these children separated from their families, but they’re forced to fight against their will for a war that has nothing to do with them.
Syrians need all basic resources: clothing, food, health assistance, shelter, household and hygiene items, clean water and sanitation facilities. Children need safe environments to grow, learn and play. Adults need job opportunities so they can provide for their children. One thing is clear, we need to do all we can to help the Syrian people through this crisis.