AMMAN, 10 August 2018- “I can’t describe to you what’s happening here. We don’t have enough water or food and we live in fear,” says 12-year-old Rand in Idlib as she breaks into tears.
Like Rand, across Idlib, there are more than 1 million children: exhausted of war, fearful of uncertainty, violence and further displacement. Many children were forced to flee, some up to seven times. Most now live in overcrowded camps and shelters in rural areas. Food, water and medicine are in extremely short supply. Further escalation in violence will have catastrophic consequences on the province; host to one of the largest internally displaced communities in Syria.
Sara is 14. She says that the precious time she spends at school has become her only refuge: “I go to school only once or twice a week, all the windows at school are shattered and there’s no clean water”.
As drums for more violence continue to beat, children in Idlib will likely be the first and most to suffer as in other parts of the country.
“Children in Syria told UNICEF they’ve had enough. We urge those fighting, those who have influence over them and those involved in the political process to prioritise children above any other consideration,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The children of Syria cannot and should not endure another wave of violence, nor another fierce battle and certainly not more killing”.
For Sara and Rand and the children of Syria everywhere, UNICEF pleads to prioritise children and their needs and to put -for once- children over political, military and strategic gains and agendas. The fate of children and Syria’s future depend on that.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.