UN agencies seek $1 billion for Syrian childrenListen /
Two United Nations agencies have launched a campaign to raise $1 billion to provide relief support and protect over four million Syrian children displaced inside the country or living in neighbouring countries as refugees.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) say the future of Syrian children is slipping away and without immediate and massive international support, many face a life of despair, diminished opportunities and broken futures.
The agencies say children have been the most vulnerable of all victims of the Syrian conflict, witnessing their families and loved one killed, subjected to the worst forms of exploitation including child labour, recruitment into armed groups, early marriage and gender based violence.
Funds raised from the "No Generation Lost" campaign will be channelled into programmes that deliver safe education, protection from exploitation, abuse and violence, psychological care and support and offer more opportunities for social cohesion and stability.
Melissa Fleming is UNHCR's spokesperson in Geneva.
"Part of the problem is the countries being overwhelmed. For example in Lebanon, the school system is bursting at the seams. There is not enough places, there are double shifts already. So there is a lot of development work and building of educational infrastructure that needs to be done particularly in Lebanon, but also in Jordan and absolutely inside Syria , where its estimated that half of the school children are no longer going to school and a good proportion of the schools have been destroyed. So a big project that just needs funding."
According to the United Nations over one million Syria children are living as refugees in neighbouring countries while three million children are currently displaced inside Syria.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.