Syria’s children
UNICEF Emergency Alert 2013
With the crisis in
Syria deep into its
third year, more than
one million Syrian
children have now
been forced to
flee their country.
“This one millionth child refugee is not just another number.
This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a
family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend.”
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake
Syria’s children: A million to one
he largest humanitarian
operation in history has
seen UNICEF provide
support for millions of affected
children and their families.
More than 4 million children are
now in need of humanitarian
aid as a result of the crisis:
some 3.1 million children inside
Syria and more than a million in
refugee camps.
Syria’s children:
a lost generation?
Children have been killed,
forced from their homes, seen
unimaginable violence and lost
family members and friends.
Many are struggling to get
an education and are living in
makeshift shelters and camps,
where they are at increased
risk of disease as the summer
temperatures rise. Caught up in
the horrors of war, children are at
risk of losing their childhood and
their future.
The physical upheaval, fear, stress
and trauma experienced by so
many children is just part of the
human crisis. Children also are at
increased risk of child labour, early
marriage and the potential for
sexual exploitation and trafficking.
More than 3,500 children in
Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have
crossed Syria’s borders either
unaccompanied or separated from
their families.
One in every five schools has
been damaged or destroyed or
is being used as a shelter. As
the start of a new school year
approaches, children are at risk of
missing out on school, exams and
the chance to recover and rebuild
their lives through learning.
Syria continued …
The systematic destruction of health, education,
water and sanitation services not only hampers
life-saving support, it also adds grave challenges
for the future.
Violence and torture
Breaking point
UNICEF’s resources are at
breaking point. Without further
support, we may have to scale
back on some life-saving work.
Children are being exposed to grave human rights
violations including sexual violence and torture.
For over two years, stories of children being killed,
maimed, tortured and used as fighters have been
falling on deaf ears. UNICEF – alongside other UN
agencies – urges governments to urgently find a
political solution to end this crisis.
You can help
Parties to the conflict must stop targeting civilians
and cease recruitment of children. Children and their
families must be safe to leave Syria and borders
must remain open so they can cross to safety.
This is a grave crisis for children.
We need your help, so that a
generation is not lost to conflict.
Night and day
£5 could provide water for a
week for a family in Syria
UNICEF is working night and day for the children of
Syria. We are providing children in Syria and refugee
children in the five neighbouring countries – Jordan,
Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt – with safe drinking
water and sanitation, vaccines, education and
psychological support.
UNICEF is one of the few international children’s
organisations with a permanent presence in Syria
itself. We have incredibly courageous staff on the
ground trying to reach children wherever they can.
However, we need your help.
Please text DONATE to
70099 to give £5 now
To donate online,
To donate by phone,
call 0800 316 5353
UNICEF at work: Syria crisis 2013
nearly 2.4 million children
against measles
àHelped more than 260,000 children to
continue their education
àProvided more than 10.2 million people
with safe water
àGiven psychological support to over 380,000
children to help them cope with the fear and
violence that they have experienced.
In June the UN launched its largest-ever
humanitarian appeal. US$3 billion is needed to
meet the acute needs of refugees until
December this year.
UNICEF is appealing for over £300 million of this
to meet the needs of Syria’s children – the same
as UK holidaymakers spent on sunglasses last
year. So far, we have less than half of what we
need to help Syria’s children.
Two in a million children’s stories
Bushra’s story
Hala’s story
ushra, age 11, lives in a cramped tent with
her parents, brothers and sisters in the
Za’atari Camp in Jordan. The tent has no
light or heating, and it takes 15 minutes to walk to
the nearest toilet. They can queue for nine hours
to get food.
ala, age 11, has been a refugee in
Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley for about a year.
The family ran away during an exchange
of fire. Her father died in the fighting. Hala came
to Lebanon with her mother and grandparents.
She attends a UNICEF supported centre in
Baalbek that provides remedial classes and
psychosocial support for Syrian children who are
traumatised by what they have seen and lost.
Bushra has been at the camp since fleeing Syria in
September 2012. Her home city of Diraa was under
siege for months. She would wake at night, terrified
by the noises of the bombs. Bushra still cries when
she hears a plane. The family home and grocery
shop was destroyed by shellfire. They fled in fear for
their lives. Her grandparents remain in Syria. They
were too old to make the eight-hour walk across the
border into Jordan.
What Bushra wants most is to go to school. “I want
to be able to go to school, that’s how I’m going to
change my life. I miss my grandmother, I really want
to see her again soon.”
Hala is a quiet girl. She says that she misses her
friends and she’s learned a lot at the centre and at
the school that she also attends thanks to UNICEF’s
work in the area. Hala would like to be a teacher
when she grows up.
Lebanon is home to more Syrian refugees than
any other country. More than one million people
have fled Syria for Lebanon – equivalent to nearly a
quarter of Lebanon’s usual population.
“I want to be able to go to school, that’s
how I’m going to change my life.”