How to Help the Syrian Children's Refugee Crisis
For over 70 years, UNICEF has been putting children first, working to protect their rights and provide the assistance and services they need to survive and thrive all over the world.
With the civil war entering its ninth year, 5.6 million Syrian children are desperate to have a childhood and urgently need your help. A generation of kids can barely recall life before bombings, fear, hunger and loss. Some have never known anything but war. But you can make a real difference. You can offer hope. Here are three things you can do today to help Syrian children.
What Can You Do To Help? Quite a Lot, It Turns Out.
The war in Syria has created the world's largest displacement crisis, with almost 5.7 million registered refugees, including more than 2.5 million Syrian children now living in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Some Syrian children have resettled with their families even farther way.
"We call once again upon all parties and anyone with influence to make peace happen now and not tomorrow," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, noting that around 5 million Syrian children have been born since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011. "These children have a bleak future with the absence of a political solution to a senseless war."
1. Donate to Help UNICEF Protect Syria's Children
Syria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child. And 2018 was the deadliest year on record for Syrian children. In just 12 months, 1,106 children were killed in fighting, according to the United Nations verified death count. The true figures are likely much higher.
"Today there exists an alarming misconception that the conflict in Syria is drawing quickly to a close – it is not," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. "Children in parts of the country remain in as much danger as at any other time during the eight-year conflict."
Today there exists an alarming misconception that the conflict in Syria is drawing quickly to a close – it is not. Children in parts of the country remain in as much danger as at any other time during the eight-year conflict
Some 2.6 million Syrian children have fled their homes due to violence and war. Those living under military siege or in hard-to-reach areas, like Rukban, near the Jordanian border, are in desperate straits.
"The winter months have been incredibly harsh for mothers and children in Rukban. Their health is weakened from poor nutrition and the extremely difficult living conditions,” said UNICEF Representative in Syria, Fran Equiza. “With no access to adequate medical facilities and no qualified medical personnel, a simple complication during childbirth can be fatal for mothers or their babies.”
In the northeast at the Al Hol camp, deteriorating conditions threaten the more than 65,000 residents, including an estimated 240 unaccompanied or separated children. Since January, nearly 60 children have reportedly died while making the 300-kilometer trek from Baghouz to the camp.
While life in the camps inside Syria is bleak, the prospects for children living in neighboring countries is hardly much better. Many children are not able to go to school. Many parents, with their means of earning a livelihood limited, feel they have no other option than to marry their children off or send them to work.
For children in #Rukban, one of the most remote camps of #Syrian refugees, life has been incredibly difficult. Last week, a humanitarian convoy arrived here, bringing desperately needed aid.— UNICEF USA (@UNICEFUSA) February 13, 2019
15-year-old Nour shares what that meant to her, via @franequiza: pic.twitter.com/HgfypAIDe1
In response, UNICEF has helped mobilize the largest humanitarian operation in history, supplying food, water, education, warm clothing and critical immunizations to millions of children and their families in Syria and neighboring countries.
But Syrian children urgently need more help. UNICEF is appealing for $319 million to help children in Syria in 2019 along with another $903 million for Syrian refugees and other affected populations living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Support UNICEF's lifesaving work by making a donation to provide Syrian children with the help they need now.
2. Start a Fundraiser to Aid Syrian Children
Make a difference by starting your own fundraiser in support of UNICEF's campaign to aid the more than 8.7 million children who have been hurt by the Syria conflict. You can help save a child's life or give them hope and a chance for a better future.
It's easy to do. Just go to UNICEF USA's Facebook page and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Not on Facebook? There are other peer-to-peer fundraising platforms to check out. For inspiration go to the UNICEF USA Crowdrise page to see how easy it is to start raising money for Syrian children.
We don't know when this war will end, but we can make sure Syrian children, in and outside the country, get clean water, medical care, nutrition and education — a chance at the future they deserve.
3. Share Your Concern
Share UNICEF's donation form for Syrian children or Facebook Fundraiser page on your social media channels, by email or even word of mouth.
You can be the spark others need to get involved. The friends and colleagues you reach can exponentially increase your impact by spreading our message to their own social networks.
UNICEF and partners are working tirelessly in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Bangladesh and around the world to save and protect children. With a presence in 190 countries and territories, UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world.