Schools have closed and health centers have shut down or become too dangerous for families to reach. The violence has also forced tens of thousands of Syrian children to flee their homes and seek shelter in neighboring countries. Well over 120 000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon.
UNICEF provides children with the essentials and tried to protect them from the violence: Nearly 150,000 children and their families in Syria have already received medication, food, vaccinations and other aid. The children are cared for in safe play zones psychologically. Even in the refugee camps we help: The boys and girls receive school supplies and toys. UNICEF provides families with clean drinking water and sanitation needs.
UNICEF urgently requires $14.4 million to meet the emergency needs of a growing number of Syrian refugee children and young people.
Since the crisis in Syria began, 86,000 Syrians—50% of them children and young people—have registered as refugees in four neighboring countries. It is estimated that the total number of refugees will increase to as many as 185,000 by December 2012.
Some 90,000 of those refugees will be children with specific needs whom UNICEF aims to reach by the end of this year with vaccines, education, protection services, clean water and sanitation. This is more than triple the initial number of refugee children identified for assistance.
UNICEF and its partners, including the governments and authorities in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, and non-governmental organizations on the ground, are responding to a situation that is quickly evolving. An estimated 30,000 vulnerable Syrian children in four countries have been reached with vital assistance to-date.