More than 12.3 million children in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, the UN warned today, a record number since the start of the war in 2011.
“Millions of children continue to live in fear, uncertainty and poverty in Syria and neighboring countries,” said Unicef Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Adel Khond.
According to the latest figures from the UN agency, “more than 6.5 million children in Syria are in need of assistance”, and “almost 5.8 million in neighboring countries”.
“This is the highest number recorded since the crisis began more than 11 years ago,” she said.
“Many families are having a hard time coping,” the Unicef official added. “Commodity prices, including food, are rising rapidly, in part because of the crisis in Ukraine,” she said.
Unicef also denounced the reduction in international aid, saying it had received “less than half the resources it needs this year”.
The agency noted that it “urgently needs $ 20 million (almost € 19 million) for its cross-border operations, the only means of subsistence for the nearly one million children in northwestern Syria,” a rebel-held area.
The humanitarian aid arriving in the region passes mainly through Turkey, on the basis of a special permit obtained by the UN that allows it to bypass the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The crisis in Syria is far from over,” Unicef said, noting that 13,000 children have been killed or injured since 2011, including 213 “during the first three months” of 2022.
About half a million people have been killed since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011, which caused the largest population displacement since World War II.