A young girl in Al-Waer, Homs, Syria, carries a box of winter clothes provided by UNICEF.
© UNICEF/UN0155577/Penttila

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Syria in crisis

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the children of Syria have been living under the constant threat of violence, deprivation and extreme emotional duress.

Homes, schools, hospitals and water treatment facilities have been destroyed. Basic food items are priced over 20 times higher, on average, than they were in 2010. 

Schools and hospitals remain under attack. Millions of children and families have been uprooted by violence. Millions of children have been living as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey for years. For those who remain inside the country, displacement has become a way of life.

The socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 created a crisis on top of a crisis, further eroding access to essential services and hitting children and families extremely hard.

More than half the population — over 11 million people, including 6.1 million children — require humanitarian assistance. The scale, severity and complexity of their needs are extensive. 

How UNICEF is helping children in Syria 

UNICEF has been on the ground since the conflict began, collaborating with partners to provide conflict and disaster-affected children with health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and protection services.

UNICEF continues to deliver for children and families with the greatest needs, focusing on:

  • strengthening lifesaving and preventative nutrition services, including treatment for acute malnutrition and safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding practices
  • vaccinating children against measles and polio, including those living in hard-to-reach areas
  • supporting infection prevention and control in health care facilities, schools, learning spaces and service centers
  • ensuring access to safe drinking water, and restoring and maintaining water and sanitation facilities 
  • distributing hygiene kits and promoting safe hygiene practices
  • supporting a range of education services, including remote learning, and teacher training
  • supporting specialized services for survivors of violence, exploitation and abuse
  • expanding social protection for the poorest families through cash transfers
  • expanding life-skills programs, vocational education and entrepreneurship training for adolescents and young people

Seven-year-old Kinda (above, far left) and her siblings have grown up amid violence, displacement and loss. In rural Aleppo, they are picking up the pieces of their lives — catching up on their learning at a UNICEF-supported school, receiving psychosocial support and education in the dangers of land mines. 

Help UNICEF support vulnerable children in Syria.

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