Syrian children cannot afford another year of bloodshed and suffering

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Children form a line outside the school at Za'atari camp in northern Jordan. [Photo: UNICEF/Simon Ingram]

The polio campaign will target children in Syria and neighbouring countries.[Photo: UNICEF/S. Ingram]

As the Syrian war enters its fourth consecutive year, over 5.5 million Syrian children face a bleak future, according to United Nations agencies and their partners working in the country.

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR say the civil war in Syria continues to expose children to relentless horror and suffering, adding that with no end in sight, an entire generation of Syrian children could be robbed off their future.

The agencies together with their partners Mercy Corps, Save the Children Fund and World Vision have issued a call for action urging the public to voice their outrage at the devastating impact of the Syrian conflict on children.

The call for action is demanding an immediate end to violence against children and more investment in the education and psychological protection of all children affected by the conflict.

Melissa Fleming in UNHCR Spokesperson in Geneva.

“We believe that of all the people who are suffering in Syria, children are suffering the most. There are more than 5 million children who are affected by the violence, the trauma and the displacement of this conflict. We are demanding an end to the violence particularly violence against children. It would be great if the war could just end tomorrow, but all those in the fighting must fully respect humanitarian law, end recruitment of children and commit to a peaceful resolution overall. There should be an end to the blockade of humanitarian assistance. Also attacks on humanitarian workers and facilities as we are carrying out these lifesaving deliveries, these must stop. The children-they should be in school. They should not have to witness violence. The refugee population of children should not have to work to get money for their families.”

On Saturday, the UN security council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding that all parties allow delivery of humanitarian assistance, cease depriving civilians of food and medicine and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wished to leave.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

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