As millions of children should be going back to class at the start of the new school year in Syria, too many are witnessing horrific violence and are losing loved ones, their homes, and their chance of an education.
More than four million Syrian children are now in need of our help in what is the largest humanitarian operation in history. Behind the numbers are real children whose futures are hanging in the balance. I recently visited Domiz camp for Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq, where I heard stories of unimaginable loss. One baby boy had been shot through his father’s arms as he rushed him to safety in his hometown in Syria. Another refugee girl, Hadija, had been out of school for more than two years and had forgotten how to read. Others were so affected by the horror they had seen, they could no longer sleep
UNICEF is working around the clock for children in Syria and in five neighbouring countries – Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. We are providing safe drinking water, essential vaccines, education, and psychological support. We have incredibly courageous staff on the ground trying to reach as many children as they can, but there is still so much to do.
In spite of the increased attention on Syria in recent weeks, UNICEF’s humanitarian response to this crisis remains critically underfunded. I urge you to think of Syria’s children and do something – however small – to help mend their shattered childhoods.
Jon Sparkes, UNICEF UK
To donate online visit www.unicef.org.uk . To donate by phone call 0800 316 5353. We need your help, to make sure that a generation of Syrian children is not lost.