Syrian Children Enduring Siege Conditions, Save the Children Warns As One Millionth Child Refugee Is Announced
Children trapped amid fighting in Syria are being killed, maimed, and denied access to food and medicine as the number
of child refugees fleeing the civil war tops one million, Save the Children said today.
The aid agency has spoken to families trapped by some of the worst violence yet seen in the two-and-a-half year
conflict. They tell of a desperate struggle to survive, living under bombardment, the threat of violence and ever
dwindling supplies as the war chokes Syrian cities.
Outside Syria, the number of refugees forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods and settle in neighbouring countries
has exploded in 2013, and has seen a tenfold increase since the same day in 2012.
Save the Children regional director for the Middle East Roger Hearn said: “It is appalling that the world has stood and
watched as one million children have been forced from their country, terrified, traumatised and in some cases orphaned.
“This is not a crisis we can sit out; it is not going away. The refugee disaster the war in Syria has created is getting
far worse, far faster than the world can cope with. It is now critically important world leaders secure humanitarian
access across Syria.
“At least 7,000 children are dead and one million have been exiled as a result of this war. How many more grim
milestones must the world witness before these horrors can be ended?”
Countries with large refugee populations are struggling to cope with the influx and close to two thirds of funding
pledged to help countries deal with the refugee crisis has yet to materialise. In the last week alone, close to 30,000
refugees have fled Syria for northern Iraq.
More than half of all refugees affected by the war are children and they remain the most vulnerable group even after
their families have escaped the imminent threat of death inside Syria.
The United Nations estimates more than 7,000 children have been killed in the war so far – a number likely to be far
higher as most of Syria’s dead are registered without their age.
Without immediate humanitarian access to Syria, Save the Children is gravely concerned the numbers of child refugees
will continue to rise as conditions worsen.