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At a glance: Syrian Arab Republic

Syria crisis: UNICEF’s response for children

UNICEF Image: A UNICEF child protection specialist holds a 6-months-old baby in Syria.
© UNICEF/UN0187723/Sanadiki
A UNICEF child protection specialist holds 6-months-old baby Yusuf as his mother queues for services in eastern Ghouta, Syria, March 2018.

DAMASCUS, Syria, 23 April 2018 - Seven years of brutal conflict in Syria and there is no end in sight. Millions of children have never known peace.

Access to basic and lifesaving services has been severely restricted and in some areas completely cut off. More than 13.1 million people, including 5.3 million children, need urgent life-saving assistance in 2018.

>> UNICEF’s response to the Syria Crisis 2018
>> Nearly 5 million Syrian children accessing education despite over seven years of war on children



In 2017, UNICEF also continued to support the efforts of governments and partners to deliver essential services in refugee camps and host communities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, benefiting an estimated 2.5 million people, including 1.7 million children.

>> UNICEF’s response to the Syria Crisis 2018

UNICEF Image: A child is checked for severe acute malnutrition in Syria.
© UNICEF/UN0142215/Tom/OCHA
A child is checked by a health professional for severe acute malnutrition in East Ghouta, October 2017. UNICEF and partners treated more than 7,000 children in Syria for severe acute malnutrition in 2017.

The situation facing Syrian children

As the Syrian crisis enters its eighth year, it continues to have a devastating impact on children inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. UNICEF is appealing for funding to meet both the immediate and longer term needs of children and their families, wherever they are.  

  • Over two million school-age children are out-of-school in Syria.
  • 1 in 3 schools in Syria cannot be used because it is either damaged, destroyed or sheltering displaced families or used for military purposes.
  • Half of all healthcare facilities in Syria are either partially functioning or not functioning at all.
  • The proportion of people living in extreme poverty in Syria (less than US$1.90 per day) doubled from 34% pre-crisis to nearly 70% today.
  • 6.5 million people are facing acute food insecurity in Syria.
  • More than 5.6 million people, including 2.7 million children, have been living as registered refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey since the onset of the conflict.

>> UNICEF’s response to the Syria Crisis 2018
>> UNICEF’s 2018 Syria appeal

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