Over the past eight years, Syria has transformed from a country bustling with tourists and sprawling market places to one of destruction, devastation and rubble. Through no fault of their own, the Syrian people have been the greatest victims of this tragedy - their lives changing from living in safety and comfort to one of displacement, loss and tragedy overnight.
Many millions of Syrians are having to live in conflict, deprivation, hunger and fear, and for these people, everyday life is extremely challenging. Food, medicine, clean water and shelter are in short supply.
Since the conflict began, millions of people have either been internally displaced or have been forced to flee their homes, communities and countries since the start of the war in Syria. Arguably, though, the greatest victims of the ongoing war over the last eight years has been the hundreds of thousands of innocent children whose lives have been torn apart.
The true impact of crises like the ongoing conflict in Syria can be difficult to digest, so we have put together some numbers that reflect a horrifying reality. With well over a million Syrian people desperately needing your help, you can help deliver a lifeline with Muslim Aid.
The United Nations Human Rights Office research (UNHCR) has documented that over 511,000 Syrians have died since the beginning of the war, up to March 2018. The death toll continues to rise, though, and men, women and children are dying as a result of indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. The survivors face unrelenting unrest, starvation, disease and violence.
According to the United Nations Office data, nearly 12 million Syrians have had to flee their homes. Having to abandon their damaged or destroyed homes, 6.1 million Syrians, including 2.6 million children, are now internally displaced with nowhere to go. Escaping bullets and bombs, they are now living in overcrowded conditions, with extended family and friends or in informal shelters. Some have faced multiple displacements in an effort to find safety and to survive.
According to Amnesty International data, approximately 50% of Syria’s displaced population are now living as refugees in neighbouring countries. Refugee camps are overcrowded, though, and many families share a single tent while food and medical supplies are in short supply. Most yearn to return to the safety and comfort of their homes and regain a semblance of normality in their lives.
According to the United Nationa International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report, 2.5 million Syrian children are living as refugees in neighbouring countries. UNICEF has declared that 2018 was the deadliest single year for Syrian children since the war began. Living as refugees has brought many dangers for these children: sexual exploitation, forced marriages, abduction and slavery are amongst some of these horrors.
UNICEF research has identified that almost all Syrian children are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and are in need of psychological counselling and specialist treatment due to witnessing war-related losses and traumas. According to the World Health Organisation data, 1.5million children have been victims of war-related injuries. Many of these injuries are due to explosive devices which have caused multiple lesions, amputations and fractures.
According to the Amnesty International statistics, many countries have pledged support to the UN Humanitarian Appeal, however currently only 40% of what is needed has been funded. As a result of this, 70% of Syrian refugees live below the poverty line. In addition, 40% of all Syrian refugees are children who are in desperate need of aid and are at risk of malnutrition. Increased vulnerability to malnutrition is putting children at high risk of life-threatening diseases and death.
According to UNICEF, 10,000 Syrian refugee children are alone in refugee host countries. Separated from their families, these children are extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The Syrian refugee children are highly traumatised and in urgent need of requiring specialist mental healthcare assistance.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every child has the right to education, however, according to the UNICEF report, the displacement of children and the destruction of the infrastructure has prevented 2.8 million Syrian children from attending school. Education not only allows for economic success but also the personal growth of children. Schooling allows children to develop routine and structure, be engaged in educational activities, have fun and develop healthy relationships but millions of Syrian children are going without. Sadly, schools across Syria have been damaged and educational provision at refugee camps is very limited.
According to UNHCR statistical data, 33% of all houses in Syria have been destroyed completely. A home is a place of safety, familiarity and comfort; millions of Syrian men, women and children have been denied this right.
According to the World Health Organisation, vital health checks and medication are being denied to millions of women and children. Untreated illness and diseases are resulting in a spike in illnesses and deaths. Millions of Syrian children are being denied access to life-saving vaccinations and medication for diseases and viruses such as polio and measles. Mental health issues are left untreated, often resulting in toxic stress, especially amongst children and young people. Toxic stress occurs when a child is exposed to and experiences strong, frequent and prolonged hardship or trauma.
With the destruction of essential infrastructure across the country, water facilities have been especially damaged. According to UNICEF data, 35% of Syrians only have access to unsafe, dirty water to meet their basic needs. Syrian refugees are also finding it increasingly difficult to find clean water, especially those who are settled in make-shift shelters. Drinking unsafe water leads to yet more illness and even fatalities.
With so many lives at stake, we need your donations today. Help Muslim Aid to provide emergency relief packages to malnourished, poverty-stricken Syrians; our Emergency Relief packages contain sufficient food to feed an entire family, including baby supplies such as formula milk, nappies, baby wipes and biscuits.
Your support will also pay for essential medical supplies to treat the sick and the injured as well as pay for power generators for hospitals and clinics. Your support is simply a life-line for the people of Syria, so donate today to Syria Emergency with Muslim Aid.