Justice

2016 Broke This Devastating Record For Children in Syria

The true capacity of the devastation in Syria for the children living in the country was recently revealed, and the numbers were shocking.

 

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"At least 652 children were killed in 2016 alone," according to UNICEF's new March 2017 report, "a 20 percent increase from 2015 - making 2016 the worst year for Syria’s children since child casualties have been formally documented."

In addition to war-related causalities, children have also died from "preventable diseases that could easily be cured," UNICEF stated, but due to the tumultuous nature of the region, there haven't been enough doctors or hospitals remaining to treat them.

 

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Here are more statistics from UNICEF's report:

  • "More than 1.7 million children inside Syria are out of school." And one in every three schools in Syria is unusable because it has been destroyed or damaged or is being used as a temporary military facility.
  • "255 children were killed or injured at or near school."
  • One out of every four children is anemic (same with women).
  • "Over 2.3 million Syrian children are now living as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq."

To reiterate, it's not only bombings and gunfire that contributed to the death rate of Syrian children. "Children and families in Aleppo are facing a catastrophic situation. These water cuts are coming amid a heat wave, putting children at a grave risk of waterborne diseases," Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria, told the organization back in August.

"The depth of suffering is unprecedented," Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, told BBC News. "Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down."

 

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The conditions have been so severe that not even post-traumatic stress syndrome was enough to describe it, with a doctor in February coining the term "Human devastation syndrome" to describe the suffering of Syrian children.

What can you do?

UNICEF is one of the organizations at the forefront of helping Syrian children, and it's accepting donations on its official website. The organization "helped mobilize the largest relief operation in history — providing safe water, nutrition, polio vaccinations, temporary schools and more. But these children’s needs are outgrowing our resources."

ATTN: previously reported on Dec. 13 about the numerous certified charities aiding the people of Syria, specifically in Aleppo. One such organization is The White Helmets, which consists of volunteers who identify as "former tailors, bakers, teachers and other ordinary Syrians [who] banded together in 2013 to save the lives others" according to the official website.

 

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The White Helmets are also "the largest civil society organisation [sic] operating in areas outside of government control," its website states, "and their actions provide hope for millions." You can donate to the organization here.

[H/T BBC News]