In the blink of an eye, the conflict in Syria enters its tenth year with no sign of ending. Currently, over 10 million Syrians are still displaced both inside and outside the country. They have lost their home, some of their friends and family members, and their future.
Since December 2019, a new crisis has erupted in Idlib, Northwest Syria. Nearly 1 million civilians, including at least 540,000 children, have been forced to flee from the airstrikes to an area along the Turkish border, living in basic informal camps. This is the largest spike in displacement since the start of the conflict in Syria nine years ago.
Most of these children and their families come from other parts of Syria, having spent a large part of their lives in displacement and already experienced fleeing from violence before, some up to 10 times. As they miss out on education, children aged five or six can barely write their names, but can name every type of bomb just by its sound instead. As winter hits the region, snow and airstrikes have put these people constantly at risk of losing their lives.
These satellite images of Idlib, captured respectively in 2018 and 2019, offer a glimpse of the destruction brought about by the airstrikes.
In Idlib, people fleeing from conflict lack winter kits and have been forced to stay in these tents. Unfortunately, some children have already died of cold as the snowstorms hit.
Many refugees from Syria are now living in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Unable to find work, they can only rely on humanitarian assistance. The winter there is intense, but as they cannot afford fuel, they can only keep warm by burning the wood that they collect.
9 Years On…
- 6.1 million people have been displaced inside Syria
- Over 5.5 million people have sought refuge in other countries
- 11.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance
- At least 6.5 million people are food insecure, with another 2.5 million at risk of food insecurity
- Close to 3 million children are out of school inside Syria and in neighbouring countries
- At least 1/3 of schools and over half of hospitals across Syria have been damaged, destroyed or put out of use
Sources: UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview
Data as of March 2020
World Vision's Response
World Vision continues response to the protracted crisis in and around Syria. Our response work includes the following sectors:
- Education and child protection: Support children who have missed out on education to acquire knowledge and 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
- Food, cash and livelihood: Provide cash allowance, food vouchers and food commodities to families in need; provide cooked meals 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 stoves and gas cylinders for families to meet their particular needs for winter; installed solar-powered hot water systems
- Health and nutrition: Support clinics, with a priority on women’s and girls’ health through improving delivery room facilities and offering services like assisted deliveries; set up women and young child spaces to provide psychological and peer support for mothers