After three years of conflict, what is life like for Syria’s children?

Fatima and her parents live in a single room on the roof  of a building in Mafraq, Jordan. © Unicef/UKLA2013-03829/LYONFatima and her parents live in a single room on the roof of a building in Mafraq, Jordan. © Unicef/UKLA2013-03829/LYON

This weekend marks three years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. Today Unicef have released their Under Siege report, taking stock of the impact that three years of violence and child rights violations have had on the children of Syria. 

Read the report now

After three years of conflict and turmoil, Syria is now one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child. Since March 2013, the number of children affected by the crisis has more than doubled from 2.3 million to more than 5.5 million.
A young girl and her mother walk  past destroyed buildings in the city  of Maarat al-Numaan, Syria. © Unicef/NYHQ2013-0698/D IFFIDENtIA young girl and her mother walk past destroyed buildings in the city of Maarat al-Numaan, Syria. © Unicef/NYHQ2013-0698/DIFFIDENTI
One in 10 children – over 1.2 million – have fled the country to become refugees in neighbouring countries. And these numbers are rising every day. By the end of January this year, 37,498 Syrian children had been born as refugees.
Children stand outside their tent shelter in the Bab Al  Salama camp for internally displaced people close to  Syria’s northern border with Turkey © Unicef/NYHQ2014-0003/DiffidentiChildren stand outside their tent shelter in the Bab Al Salama camp for internally displaced people close to Syria’s northern border with Turkey © Unicef/NYHQ2014-0003/Diffidenti
Following an outbreak of polio in October 2013, Unicef and partners responded with one of the biggest immunisation campaigns in the region’s history. Over the past four months, 2.7 million Syrian children have been immunised inside Syria although polio still remains a threat to children in besieged or hard to reach areas.
A child receives a dose of oral polio vaccine at a  maternal and child primary health centre in Jordan.© Unicef/NYHQ2013-0682/N OORANI A child receives a dose of oral polio vaccine at a maternal and child primary health centre in Jordan.© Unicef/NYHQ2013-0682/NOORANI
Every child touched by this conflict has experienced things no child should. Fear has become a way of life and the past three year has left too many with deep developmental and emotional scars.
12-year old Safaa cries as she tells a Unicef aid worker about her family’s harrowing journey from their home in Syria, to the  Kawergosk refugee camp in Iraq. © Unicef/NYHQ2013-1419/N OORANI12-year old Safaa cries as she tells a Unicef aid worker about her family’s harrowing journey from their home in Syria, to the Kawergosk refugee camp in Iraq. © Unicef/NYHQ2013-1419/NOORANI
Children are losing out on education too. In just three years, a fifth of all Syria’s schools have been destroyed, damaged, turned into shelters, or taken over by armed groups and forces. Nearly 3 million children in Syria and neighbouring countries are now missing from the classroom.
Children at an informal tented  school in Lebanon’s Bekaa  valley.© Unicef/NYHQ2013-1012/R OMENZIChildren at an informal tented school in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley.© Unicef/NYHQ2013-1012/ROMENZI

The children of Syria cannot afford another year of conflict. The coming months are our last chance to save a generation that will otherwise be lost. You can help us to make a difference to the lives of the children of Syria. They need our support to grow, learn and develop the skills that will rebuild their war-ravaged country and restore its diverse and multicultural society.

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