Record 9.3 million Syrian children need aid, warns UN

Metro, Rudaw 

 A record of over nine million children in Syria are in need of aid more than any time since the devastating war erupted over a decade ago, the United Nations warned on Sunday.

"Millions of children continue to live in fear, need, and uncertainty inside Syria and in neighboring countries,” the UN’s children agency said in a statement. "More than 6.5 million children in Syria are in need of assistance, the highest number recorded since the beginning of the crisis."

A total of 9.3 million Syrian children are in need of aid, UNICEF spokesperson Juliette Touma clarified to Rudaw English via email. 

The need for aid comes 11 years since a civil war devastated Syria with funding "dwindling” over time, the agency added.

"Children’s needs, both inside Syria and in neighboring countries, are growing. Many families struggle to make ends meet.”

A peaceful uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March of 2011 turned into a full-scale civil war. The government used deadly force to crush the dissent with protests demanding Assad’s resignation erupting nationwide.

The brutal conflict has claimed the lives of thousands of people, drawn in foreign powers, and displaced more than half of the pre-war population.

The UNICEF also stated that they have faced a severe cash shortfall to provide aid, saying it "has received less than half of its funding requirements for this year.”

It called for $20 million to fund "cross-border operations” in northwest Syria to create "the only lifeline for nearly one million children.” Syria’s northwest is the last major rebel enclave.

About 13 million people were uprooted by Syria’s conflict. Around 6.8 million have fled the country while another 6.2 people were internally displaced within Syria, according to UN numbers. 

UN special envoy for Syria last month referred to Syria as a "hot conflict.”

"The current strategic stalemate on the ground and Syria’s absence from the headlines should not mislead anyone into thinking that the conflict needs less attention or fewer resources, or that a political solution is not urgent,” Geir Pedersen said. 


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