Years of war and treacherous regimes have left the country of Syria in a battered state. And in what one can only call a ‘shameful milestone’ that would leave the global community hanging its head down in shame, the UN has registered the number of children fleeing the country to be one million.
That’s right. Ever since the Assad regime began in 2011, over 1 million children have fled Syria, either orphaned or traumatized enough to continue living in the country any more. These children make up nearly half of all refugees who have fled Syria so far, and continue to do so.
The UN also states that more than 2 million children have been displaced in other areas within Syria itself. Most of these children have been noted to be under 11 years of age, with several of them crossing the border to arrive in neighboring countries like Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. According to the UN high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Guterres, these children have lost everything from the family and homes to even their futures in Syria, and continue to feel depressed and traumatized even after arriving on safer land. And out of the 1 million children who have fled Syria so far, only 118,000 were able to get a home, continue their education or receive any kind of psychosocial counselling till date.
The ongoing conflict in Syria has so far killed 100,000 people, and has forced nearly 1.7 million people to flee the country, with nearly 40,000 Syrians fleeing the country in the last week alone.The UN has registered that this would be the world’s worst refugee crisis after 20 years, following the Rwanda genocide in 1994.
While UN investigations into air strikes and chemical weapons attacks still await permission from the Syrian government (including permission for the most recent chemical weapons attack in Damascus which has left nearly a 1000 people dead), the UN agencies already present in the country have found it difficult to tend to Syrian refugees. It’s so because the appeal for Syria in the UN has just garnered about 40 percent of the proposed funds.
The agencies have also pointed out the possibility of Syria losing out on a whole generation, with future leaders being ill equipped to govern the country. With the country losing out on almost all of its children population in the past few years, world leaders have expressed concern about the country having anyone worth left to rule Syria in the future.