No lost generation – we must act now

 

No lost generation – we must act now

Don’t let news of the Syrian crisis drown out the voices of its children. We can’t lose an entire generation.

 

NEW YORK, United States of America/ HONG KONG, 7 January 2014 – As the Syrian crisis rages on, approaching its fourth year, an entire generation of children is being shaped by violence, displacement and a persistent lack of opportunity – and could be lost forever, with profound long-term consequences for the Syrian Arab Republic, the region and beyond.

On 16 November, displaced children participating in UNICEF-supported psychosocial activities play tug of war, in a shelter in the city of Homs, capital of Homs Governorate. The humanitarian situation throughout Homs continues to deteriorate, with many areas experiencing daily shelling and fighting. On 16 November 2013 in the Syrian Arab Republic, 9.3 million people have been affected by the escalating conflict. Of these, 6.5 million people – over 2.9 million of them children – have been internally displaced. Syrians have also fled abroad, with more than 2.2 million people registered or awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Ongoing UNICEF initiatives inside the Syrian Arab Republic include the distribution of school bags with supplies to over 600,000 children; programmes in water, sanitation and hygiene; supporting the Ministry of Health in reaching children with medical check-ups and primary health care services via mobile medical teams and fixed centres; and the provision of psychosocial support services that are reaching more than 110,100 children. Following the confirmation of 13 cases of wild polio virus in the country, more than 1.2 million children have been vaccinated against the disease as part of an ongoing nationwide immunization campaign led by the Ministry of Health in coordination with UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Working with diverse governments, partners and other United Nations agencies, UNICEF has appealed for a total of US$470.65 million to cover responses within the Syrian Arab Republic and all host countries. By 14 November, nearly 87 per cent had been funded.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-1053/Halabi

Displaced girls play tug of war in a shelter in Homs, Syrian Arab Republic, part of UNICEF-supported psychosocial activities. The humanitarian situation in Homs continues to deteriorate; many areas are experiencing daily fighting.

We must act now, urgently, to champion the #ChildrenofSyria and to support neighbouring nations.

Under the umbrella of ‘No Lost Generation’, UNICEF and partners are galvanizing the global coordinated effort it will take to protect the futures of these children. These international actors have come together to expand access to learning and psychosocial support, strengthen social cohesion and peacebuilding – and restore hope for the future.

With assistance to protect them from violence, abuse and exploitation, with education to foster their minds and build resilience – and with support to heal their hidden wounds, the#ChildrenofSyria can build a better future for themselves, their families and their societies.

For the more than 5 million Syrian children already affected by this crisis, for the neighbouring countries straining to support the 2.3 million Syrian refugees who have crossed their borders, we must act now.

Learn more about the #ChildrenofSyria
Champion the #ChildrenofSyria