Syrian Crisis

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Children in Syria need your help urgently. Send them food, water and health care now.

Developing emergency: A suspected poison gas attack in Syria has killed families in their homes. At least 42 people are dead, including infants and toddlers, and another 500 are injured. “Children are dying before our eyes,” says UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “This can be stopped. It needs to stop now.”

The attack is the latest atrocity in more than seven years of brutal civil war that has had a devastating effect on the beleaguered nation's children. Born in one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child, a seven-year-old has never known life without war. Millions of Syrian children have grown up facing the daily threat of violence. In the first two months of 2018 alone, 1,000 children were reportedly killed or injured in intensifying violence. Thousands have been wounded as bombs continue to fall on the rebel-held region of Eastern Ghouta, where families are living in basements without access to safe water, sanitation or food. If that level of violence continues, this will be the deadliest year for Syrian children since the war began. The situation is so dire that in February, UNICEF issued a blank statement accompanied by the heart-wrenching message, "No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones."  

2017 was the worst year yet for Syria's children as violence ripped apart places that should be safe: schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and children's own homes. Across the country, 1.75 million children remain out of school.  This is why we have more than 200 staff who risk their lives every day across the country to support Syria’s children.

And some 2.6 million Syrian children are living as refugees or on the run in search of safety, helping to fuel a global migrant crisis. Syria is now the world's biggest producer of both internally displaced people and refugees. Many children have spent several bitter winters living in makeshift shelters. More than 1 million Syrian refugee children — over 40 percent — are also missing out on education.

Saja was 12 when she lost her leg in a bomb attack in Eastern Aleppo. Her brother was killed in another attack. Above, she reads from an essay she wrote about her dream of peace for Syria: "I hope that all children who have lost their right to learn will go back to school, especially those who have lost their parents."

For these children, what's at stake isn't politics. It's their future. Having already lost their homes, schools and communities, their chances of building a future may also soon be lost. 

UNICEF has been on the ground since the conflict began, helping to mobilize the largest humanitarian operation in history and working closely with partners to provide education, water, health care and immunizations, physical protection, psychological support and clothing to children in Syria and Syrian refugee children in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Europe. Children are Syria's future. We must support each and every child.

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