Number of Syrian children in need hits record high

Eleven years on the crisis in Syria, children continue to be the first and most to suffer

08 May 2022
two toddlers playing with a UNICEF box in a dry landscape
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Suleiman

From Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

AMMAN, 8 May 2022 – “Millions of children continue to live in fear, need and uncertainty inside Syria and the neighbouring countries.

“More than 6.5 million children in Syria are in need of assistance, the highest ever recorded since the beginning of the crisis, more than 11 years ago.

“The crisis in Syria is far from over. Only in the first three months of this year, 213 children were killed or injured. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, over 13,000 children have been confirmed killed or injured.

“In Syria’s neighbouring countries, strained by political instability and fragility, nearly 5.8 million children depend on assistance, their lives riddled with poverty and hardship.

“Children’s needs inside Syria and the neighbouring countries are growing. Many families struggle to make ends meet. Prices of basic supplies including food are skyrocketing, partially as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.

“Funding for humanitarian operations is meanwhile fast dwindling. Ahead of the sixth Brussels Conference on Syria and the region on 10 May, UNICEF has only received less than half of its funding requirements for this year. Of our requirements to reach children and families impacted by the crisis in Syria, we urgently need nearly US$20 million for the cross-border operations, the only lifeline for nearly 1 million children in the northwest of Syria.

“Investments are also imperative to restore systems to deliver essential basic services, like education, water and sanitation, health, nutrition, and social protection, leaving no Syrian child behind.

“UNICEF renews its appeal to all parties to the conflict and those with influence over them to reach a political solution to the crisis for the sake of Syria’s children and their future. In the absence of such a solution, humanitarian response inside Syria and the neighbouring countries must continue to be supported.

“Every day counts. Syria’s children have suffered for way too long and should not suffer any longer.” 

Media contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628
Salim Oweis
Communication Officer
UNICEF MENA
Tel: 00962799365212

Multimedia content

We met Abdulla for the first time in 2018. He has grown since and so have his dreams! He’s now in Grade 7 and hopes to become an architect in the future. He'd like to build homes for others and a beautiful house for himself.
We met Abdulla for the first time in 2018. He has grown since and so have his dreams! He’s now in Grade 7 and hopes to become an architect in the future. He'd like to build homes for others and a beautiful house for himself.

The crisis continues to leave Syrian children with psychological scars. Last year, one-third of children in Syria showed signs of psychological distress including anxiety, sadness, fatigue, or frequent trouble sleeping.

Read more on the situation of the children of Syria:

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Girl with school backpack posing in front of destructions
Maram, 12, on her way to the UNICEF -supported centre in Al-Jazmati neighborhood, Aleppo city, northwest Syria, on 24 February 2022

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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/mena

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