AMMAN (August 10, 2018) – “I can’t describe to you what’s happening here. We don’t have enough water or food and we live in fear,” says 12-year-old Rand in Idlib as she breaks into tears.
Like Rand, across Idlib, there are more than 1 million children: exhausted by war as well as fearful of uncertainty, violence and further displacement. Many children were forced to flee, some up to seven times. Most now live in overcrowded camps and shelters in rural areas. Food, water and medicine are in extremely short supply. Further escalation in violence will have catastrophic consequences on the province; host to one of the largest internally displaced communities in Syria.
Sara is 14. She says that the precious time she spends at school has become her only refuge: “I go to school only once or twice a week, all the windows at school are shattered and there’s no clean water”.
As drums for more violence continue to beat, children in Idlib will likely be the first and most to suffer as in other parts of the country.
“Children in Syria told UNICEF they’ve had enough. We urge those fighting, those who have influence over them and those involved in the political process to prioritise children above any other consideration,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The children of Syria cannot and should not endure another wave of violence, nor another fierce battle and certainly not more killing”.
For Sara, Rand and the children of Syria, UNICEF pleads for children and their needs to be prioritized over political, military and strategic gains and agendas. The fate of children and Syria’s future depend on that.
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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
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