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Five Reasons To Help Fund the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Response Five Reasons To Help Fund the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Response

Five Reasons To Help Fund the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Response

by Mary Slosson
October 3, 2013


Two million Syrian children have dropped out of school since last school year because of the conflict. One million of those are refugees.
 
After more than two years of ongoing conflict, Syria may experience a "lost generation" of children who want to be in school, but who have been forced out of the education system against their will, according to UNICEF. Roughly half of those children have fled the country with their families and now live in crowded refugee camps. 
 
More girls are being forced into early marriage.
 
With conflict raging around them, many Syrian families are forced to make hard decisions that they would not have to in peacetime.
 
Save The Children interviewed some of the families affected. "My daughter is 16 and she loved school. She is innocent and very pretty. I know that men are hurting women. We could not protect her, so we had to marry her. We needed her to have a protector," Um Ali, a mother of two children, told Save The Children aid workers.
 
In Aleppo, 85 percent of primary school children were attending classes two years ago. Today, only 6 percent can attend school.
 
The northern city has been particularly hard hit by the conflict, UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe told a media briefing on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Conflict always disproportionately affects children.
 
More than 70 percent of the country’s health care workers cannot get to work even when they try to provide basic medical services.
 
Road blocks, bombings, and sniper fire are just some of the reasons why the majority of trained health care providers in Syria cannot get to their hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, according to Save The Children. 
 
The consequences are grave: pregnant women are denied access to vital neonatal care, innocent children and civilians wounded in the crossfire don’t get the emergency medical attention they need, and those who fall ill are left to fend for themselves.
 
With the destruction of sewage infrastructure, raw human waste is entering the water system. Save the Children reports the number of acute diarrhea cases has risen 172 percent in the first five months of 2013 alone.
 


Winter is coming, and the cost of fuel has soared by up to 500 percent.
 
Food and water shortages are ravaging the country—and the refugees who have fled outside the borders—and many people are struggling on the brink of survival. Winter will make living conditions for the more than two million refugees even harder.
 
Save the Children estimates that the conflict has already caused roughly $2 billion of damage to the country’s agriculture sector, including the loss of crops and animals.
 
Photos courtesy of UNICEF.
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