3 Million Syrian children displaced by conflict

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Syrian refugee children play beside tents in Domiz refugee camp.© UNHCR/B.Sokol

Nearly 3 million Syrian children have been displaced by the on going crisis in the country, according to United Nations agencies.

The UN Refugee agency UNHCR and the UN Children's Fund UNICEF estimate that more than 2 million children have been internally displaced, while another one million children have been forced to flee their homeland as refugees.

More than half of Syrian refugee children in neighbouring countries are under the age of 11.

The two agencies say children are traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says the survival and well being of an entire generation was at stake, adding that displaced children face the risk of being pushed into child labour, early marriage, sexual exploitation and trafficking.

"This is indeed a matter of enormous concern for us, UNICEF, UNHCR, but I believe it needs to be a matter of enormous concern for the whole of the international community. This is totally unacceptable one million refugee children coming out of this tragic war. We are doing our best trying to make sure that these children are protected, doing our best to assist them in shelter, in education. In health in all the other aspects but lets be clear we are not doing enough. This is the moment for the international community to come together to massively increase the support to all humanitarian agencies that are working in the countries around Syria and in Syrian trying to alleviate the plight of the Syrian children but also to the states that have been very generous accepting children in school, accepting children in their health centres and doing their best to provide living conditions as close as possible to normal conditions even if we know that that is something that is impossible to happen." 

The Syria Regional Refugee Response plan, which calls for US$3 billion to address the acute needs of refugees until December of this year is currently only 38 per cent funded.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.59″ 

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