Syria: Nine Years of Hell for Children

The Syrian crisis remains one of the world’s biggest humanitarian emergencies. After nine years of civil war, the violence continues and children are still suffering in their millions.

2.6 million children displaced inside Syria

2.5 million children are living as refugees in neighbouring countries

Six out of ten children in Syria are in urgent need of support

In 2018, 1,106 children were killed in the fighting – the highest ever number of children killed in a single year since the start of the war.

As violence continues to escalate nearly 70,000 children have been displaced in northeast Syria and they need your help this winter.

syria statistics

How Much More Can Syrian Children Endure?

Syrian children who have spent all, or most of their lives, living hand-to-mouth in refugee camps, temporary settlements, abandoned buildings and sub-standard housing once again find themselves battling the elements just to stay alive.

Winter brings untold hardship and misery to the lives of Syrian children and their families. Their tented settlements provide minimum protection from the rain, snow and freezing temperatures.

Salah and Amal warm their hands in front of a fire in an Informal Tented Settlement near Mafraq in Northern Jordan. Rich | Jordan | 2016

Zaela, a mother living in a Jordanian refugee camp with her seven children, explains how difficult winter is for her family.

“The winter clothing is so important for us, it gets really cold after sunset and we have no choice but to light a fire inside the tent, using some wood we collected from nearby farms. I know it’s dangerous but it’s a last resort to survive cold. Two of my children are suffering from breathing problems because of the fire inside.

“Even the daytime in winter is very challenging for us because we don’t have warm clothes. My children have no shoes or jackets. To buy them new clothes I would have to sacrifice food and that’s something we cannot live without. Sometimes we pass the clothes shops in town but I can’t even buy them a pair of shoes or we wouldn’t have bread for a week.

“All I wish for is to have a better life for my children, we can barely survive here. Thank you for not leaving us in our time of need.”

Zaela and her family wait to collect their UNICEF Winter Clothing Kits. Herwig | Jordan | 2019

The distribution of close to 3,000 children’s winter clothing kits in these settlements comes just in time as temperatures in Jordan drop to near freezing.

Warm clothing and proper footwear means that children can walk to school, even through mud or snow, and concentrate better in class. A Winter Baby Clothing Kit keeps even the youngest and most vulnerable refugees safe and warm this winter.

Your Gifts Save Lives

UNICEF’s emergency response gives hope to refugee children during the dark and cold winter months and provides a safety net for families who are struggling on a daily basis to survive.

Domiz Refugee Camp, Northern Iraq February 2016. Mohammed (6 years) and Noor (4 years) wrapped in a blanket. Schermbrucke | Iraq | 2014

This Christmas, you can give the gift of warmth and protection to a child in need.

A thermal blanket, or a good winter coat, will bring so much comfort to children struggling to survive in freezing temperatures.

You can give waterproof boots to a child wearing sandals. You can give a snuggly scarf and hat to children huddling together for warmth in a damp and leaky tent.

You can save lives, and bring warmth to those who need it most.

Please donate today.