Every child deserves an equitable chance in life.
Several years of crisis have had a profound impact on Syria’s economy and social fabric. Available evidence suggests rebuilding Syria’s human and social capital will be a far greater and lasting challenge than reconstructing the physical infrastructure.
Amongst the challenges facing families in Syria are:
- Poverty and unemployment: The decline in living standards of Syrian people is evident in the drastic rise in poverty levels and unemployment. Under economic duress, households adopt different coping responses, such as, selling household assets, borrowing, reducing food consumption and relying on child labour, that are often found to be disproportionately affecting women and children.
- Several years of crisis has left the public sector in Syria in disarray. The disruption of services has affected the well-being of the population and in particular the well-being of children. The crisis has also led to a reversal trend, eroding the country’s human development achievements of several decades.
The Social Policy Programme in Syria, which consists of two inter-related key streams of work, is meant to address the key challenges to supporting children achieve their full potential:
- First, emergency response aiming to alleviate the immediate needs of children who are most affected by the crisis and displacement, through:
- An integrated social protection scheme that UNICEF has been implementing in coordination with national partners for children with severe disabilities through provision of cash transfers and case management services.
- Responding to the basic needs of children to adequate clothing through seasonal winter and summer clothes distribution as well as distribution of e-vouchers.
- Second, policy level work aiming to enhance the national social protection system in the country, as well as better integration of social services, to alleviate child poverty across the population, through:
- Providing technical support and generating quality evidence to inform policy decisions and advocacy efforts for a nationally-owned child-focused social protection scheme.
- Providing technical support to enhance integration across the social protection system. The dialogue on integrated social protection systems builds on the experience of the humanitarian response and aims to enhance coordination including through development of an integrated information management system across social protection programmes to address the multiple needs of children.
- Providing technical support for the piloting of an integrated model of social services, including support to build the country’s social work workforce.