It has been ten years since Syria’s civil war broke out in March 2011. In this decade-long conflict, nearly 600,000 have been killed, including 55,000 children, while a child’s life expectancy has been reduced by 13 years. Apart from producing high casualties and displacing half of the country’s population, the war has brought massive destruction to the country and deprived an entire generation of Syrian children of their childhood. Since the beginning of the war, 4.8 million Syrian children have been born straight into the thick of conflict, losing access to education, healthcare and livelihoods, as well as suffering psychosocial effects and even becoming victims of child marriage. They are also unable to return to their homeland, not to mention pursuing their dreams.
According to a recent World Vision report, the cumulative cost of the war in Syria has exceeded US$1.2 trillion, which is almost equal to the European Union’s budget over a decade. Even if the war was to end today, an additional $1.4 trillion will continue to be paid until 2035, not taking into account the impact on education and medical care for children. However, the greatest cost, in comparison, is that an entire generation of Syrians will be trapped in the cycle of poverty. Intervention and support from the international community is their last hope.
10 Years On…
- 6.2 million people have been displaced inside Syria
- Nearly 5.6 million people have sought refuge in other countries
- 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance
- At least 12.4 million people are food insecure, with another 1.8 million at risk of food insecurity
- With one in every three schools across Syria destroyed, damaged or used for military purposes, 2.4 million children in Syria are out of school
- Over half of the hospitals and health centres across Syria have been damaged, meaning that they are either completely out-of-service, or partially functional
Sources: UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, WFP, WHO
Data as of March 2021
In Northwest Syria, these displaced Syrian children are playing with rocks near the basic tents where they stay.
Displaced Syrians in Northwest Syria are relying on humanitarian assistance to survive the wet and cold winter.
World Vision's Response
World Vision continues responding to the protracted crisis in and around Syria. In 2020, our work has reached over 3.2 million people. Our response work includes the following sectors:
- Education and child protection: Support children who have missed out on education to acquire knowledge and life skills to return to formal schools; offer sports, recreational activities and learning opportunities to children living in refugee camps; work with schools, parents and leaders to promote child protection; provide early childhood education and psychosocial support
- Food, cash and livelihood: Provide cash allowance, food vouchers and food commodities to families in need; provide food for children attending formal schools in refugee camps; support young and unemployed people to increase their resilience by providing training on job skills; recruit incentive-based volunteers to collect, sort and recycle garbage in refugee camps
- Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): Distribute hygiene kits and encourage families to maintain personal hygiene to reduce risk of diseases; provide drainage, infrastructure and water-trucking in refugee camps
- Winter and household supplies: Distribute items like tents, blankets, stoves and gas cylinders for families to meet their particular needs for winter
- Health and nutrition: Run mobile medical clinics; set up women and young child spaces to provide psychological and peer support for mothers