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Syria Crisis—FAQ

What Is the Conflict in Syria?

For UNICEF, the conflict in Syria is a children’s crisis and one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in the world. More than 5 million children inside Syria and around the region are directly affected. They have lost their homes and friends, and many live in makeshift shelters. They have lost their schools. They have lost access to basic services, from water to health care. Many are traumatized by the violence they have witnessed. UNICEF is doing everything it can to help Syrian children and their families.

How Many Syrian Children Are Refugees?

More than 1 million Syrian children have now fled the violence in their homeland. Refugee children are staying in camps or with host communities in neighboring countries. Inside Syria, an estimated 2 million children have been forced to leave their homes and are now displaced.

What Countries Are Refugees Fleeing to?

Children and their families have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. They are living in refugee camps or with host communities. The biggest refugee populations are in Lebanon, with more than 800,000 refugees, and Jordan, with more than 540,000 refugees.

How Many Syrian Children Are at Risk?

In total, some 5.4 million children are affected by the crisis, inside Syria and in neighboring countries.

What Caused the Conflict in Syria?

The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since anti-government demonstrations began in March 2011 and spread nationwide by April 2011. The crisis continues to grow as fighting intensifies. Millions of people are displaced within Syria and have fled to neighboring countries.

How to Help Syrian Children

UNICEF has been providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to the children of Syria since the beginning of the crisis. UNICEF and partners have provided clean drinking water to 10 million people inside Syria and vaccinated more than 2.3 million children against measles across the region. Since January, more than 260,000 children have been enrolled in learning programs, and UNICEF is helping to launch a home-based learning program for 400,000 students who cannot attend school. Currently, UNICEF is expanding its network of partners to reach even more children on the ground. But UNICEF’s work in Syria is severely underfunded, and some lifesaving programs may have to be suspended without increased donor support. UNICEF’s work is entirely funded by voluntary donations. Click here to help Syrian children and their families.

How to Help Syrian Refugees

UNICEF is providing lifesaving help to Syrian refugees in refugee camps and is supporting host communities that have taken in refugees. The UNICEF-supported Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is the second largest refugee camp in the world, home to 56,000 Syrian children. Here, as in many other refugee camps, UNICEF is supplying clean water and sanitation, helping to set up schools, providing medical services and psychosocial support, and supplying food supplements and clothing.

How Much Longer Will UNICEF Continue to Help Children Affected by the Crisis in Syria?

UNICEF has been on the ground helping Syrian children since the crisis began over two years ago. As a matter of fact, UNICEF has been operating in Syria for almost 40 years. UNICEF is working to respond to children's humanitarian needs throughout the region and will continue to provide lifesaving assistance to the children of Syria for however long it is needed and wherever they are.

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