Will Their Future Be Different?

Today, as we mark another anniversary of the conflict in Syria, we think of the children who have only known suffering.

For the past 11 years, violence has raged, families have fled and poverty has deepened, plunging an entire generation into catastrophe. With no end in sight, we’re asking: will their future be different?

The human consequences of conflict have been disastrous. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, countless more have been left with life-changing injuries and more than half the population has fled their homes. Across Syria, 9 in every 10 children live in poverty, with many facing a daily battle to survive.

Yet as we move into the second decade of conflict, the situation is getting worse, not better. Humanitarian needs are at their highest ever level. 14.6 million Syrians require humanitarian assistance to survive - 9% more than last year and 32% more than the year before.

A total of 5.3 million children need humanitarian assistance and protection. The crisis has caused the emergence of numerous unaccompanied children, increasing their exposure to violence.

The downward spiral of the economy is pushing record numbers towards starvation. 12 million people lack sufficient access to food, and 1.3 million are acutely food insecure, meaning they cannot survive without food assistance. Another 1.8 million are at risk unless urgent action is taken. More than half a million children suffer from stunting as a result of chronic malnutrition.

Syrian children are growing up in a world unable to meet their needs. The conflict has decimated the education system, with almost half of all schools damaged or destroyed, leaving 2.45 million children unable to learn and progress.

Children represent hope for a peaceful Syria, yet an entire generation has known nothing but hardship, and is being denied the chance to fulfil its potential. If peace and prosperity are to prevail, ensuring that all children have access to education is essential. 

Coupled with skyrocketing levels of poverty, the absence of education is seeing more and more children fall victim to child labour. Children as young as six work extremely long hours for very little pay, just to put food on the table for their families. But in many cases, earnings equate to just £1, meaning that the basics are still out of reach.

These experiences rob children of a childhood. Toiling each day in dangerous environments takes a heavy toll on physical and mental health, further harming a child’s chances of escaping poverty. Inside Syria, children are contributing to the family income in more than three quarters of households, reflecting the sheer scale of the problem.

This cannot continue. No child should grow up surrounded by suffering. No child should grow up without hope of a better future.

With your support, we can make their future different. Find out more about how you can help today.