Millions more children at risk as the crisis deepens
Over the last year, an additional 770,000 children affected by the Syria crisis benefitted from some form of education and almost 660,000 children received psychological support.
“Helping the children of Syria is investing in the future of Syria, as today’s children are tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers and leaders. Investing in this generation is helping them acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to rebuild their communities when peace returns,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to heal their hearts and minds. And there is so much more to be done.”
The deepening crisis in Syria continues to put an entire generation of children at risk, says a progress report released today by the No Lost Generation initiative at a meeting of key government, NGO and UN partners on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting at UNICEF headquarters marks one year since a coalition of partners used the occasion of the UN General Assembly to call for concerted action to prevent the loss of an entire generation of Syrian children. Governments, host communities and other partners have since made significant progress in reaching more children with education and protection support and services, despite continued conflict, increased displacement and worsening living conditions for many families.
• Enrolment in formal and non-formal education increased from 169,500 in 2013 to 489,000 in 2014, in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
• 128,000 pupils have been helped to attend school clubs in volatile cross-line areas in war-torn Syria.
• In 2014, 72,000 children inside Syria and 587,000 refugee children living in host countries have been provided with essential psychosocial support.
• 200,000 caregivers in Lebanon have been reached with support programmes designed to promote a nurturing environment and prevent child maltreatment.
The report notes that adolescents are particularly vulnerable and underserved, with anger and frustration at their situations making them more susceptible to the lure of armed groups. Creating opportunities to prevent them from being drawn into violence and conflict is critical.
The No Lost Generation initiative appealed for $885 million to fund education and child protection services in Syria and host countries in 2014. To date $301 million (34%) has been received, leaving a gap of $584 million.