SYRIAN CRISIS: 10 YEARS ON
About this appeal
More than 6 Million Syrian Children Need Humanitarian Assistance*.
2021 marks the tenth year of the Syrian Crisis, and children remain at the centre of the tragedy. Across the entire region, children have been impacted by violence and displacement. Their family ties have been severed, and they lack access to basic services such as clean water, health care and education, caused by the ongoing conflict.
There’s no immediate solution to the 10 year Syrian crisis. And while it continues, UNICEF will continue to be there for the children who need us.
For many Syrian children they know nothing other than war – but with your donation we can give them the essentials they need for hope. Hope for a better future.
Syria Crisis Snapshot+
UNICEF & Partners Are On The Ground
In Syria and the surrounding countries, UNICEF is providing children with the critical essentials to help them cope with the impact of conflict and look towards a better 10 years ahead.
UNICEF is continuing to deliver and facilitate vital humanitarian assistance such as providing vaccines, clean water and nutrition treatment – whilst providing or repairing sanitation facilities and getting children into education.
*source: UNICEF, Whole of Syria Humanitarian Situation Report, May 2021
Appeal information updated 14th September 2021.
Your life-saving monthly donations will support this appeal for 6 months. After that they will go into our Global Parent fund to save and protect children worldwide.
How will you help
By supporting UNICEF Aotearoa’s Syria appeal, you’ll be helping provide Syrian children and families with urgent life-saving supplies and essential aid.
Your gift will support the ongoing response and be used where it’s needed most. In 2021, UNICEF is focused on providing a range of support, including healthcare and nutrition treatment to children, providing clean water and sanitation facilities for families, and access to mental health and psychosocial support for children and caregivers.
Your caring donation will help**:
- Treat 13,500 malnourished children under 5
- Vaccinate 3.2 million children against deadly polio
- Provide clean water to more than 4.1 million people
- Get 2.15 million children into formal and non-formal education
- Provide mine risk education and assistance to more than 2.3 million children
- Provide improved sanitation services to 1.36 million people
You can make a huge difference - please donate now and help give Syrian children the essentials of hope.
Here is a snapshot of how UNICEF and partners helped Syrian children in 2020+.
Dreaming and learning - the story of a powerful woman from Syria
Published on Tue Sep 14 2021
“Women must complete their education, as no one knows what the future holds. A woman’s only weapon in life is her education,”
Ayat got married young. She was just 17, which was not uncommon in her community. She described her life back then as decent, happy, and predictable. She look after her two kids and did house work, while her husband, Omar, worked at his linen shop.
“There is a huge difference between my life back then and now; very huge.”
It was in 2011, when Ayat's life took it's first turn for the worst. The conflict in Syria had begun in the months before, and slowly it ebbed its way to Ayat's neighbourhood in Douma, rural Damascus.
Frightened, Ayat and Omar grabbed their two young kids and fled for safety. But couldn't find it. Wherever they went, violence followed.
The family had no choice, but to return to their home. “We just went back to Douma. At least, there, we had a home of our own,” recalls Ayat.
But in Douma, violence kept escalating. Until one day in 2013, Ayat's life changed forever. The family were walking home, when a bomb exploded nearby. Shrapnel torn through the group, Ayat and her children were badly injured, and her husband Omar was killed.
It took Ayat one month at the hospital and a whole year at her parents’ home to fully recover.
“Suddenly, I was all on my own with two infants, one of whom had become disabled. I was overwhelmed with a huge responsibility that I felt too weak to bear."
When Ayat was well again, her family was sinking in poverty.
“I realized that I needed to go out there and find a job, at least to feed my two children.”
But in Ayat’s community, with its strict gender roles, it was unusual for a woman to go out and work with men. “I had to break the rules to survive,” said Ayat.
Ayat started working with a humanitarian organization as a psychosocial support worker. “What I learned from that job was instrumental for my interactions with my daughters, who were clearly affected by trauma.”
With her strong will for life and despite the hardship she went through, Ayat was able to dream again. She decided to continue her education which she stopped after Grade 11, when she got married.
“I needed to study hard while still working. I needed to make it to the exams.”
In 2018, Ayat sat her exams and passed with good grades. She had qualified to enroll to study Chemistry at University in Damascus. During her first year at University, she worked as a school teacher as well as studying. In her second year, it became harder to juggle the two, so she had to quit working and focus on her degree.
The financial burden was made easier when she applied for UNICEF’s cash transfer support for children with disabilities. It provides families with US$40 a month, to help take care of their disabled children’s needs.
“Often, when I come back after receiving the money, I would find my daughters waiting at the door, excited to find the food items they had asked for among my shopping bags.”
Ayat is now 28. She continues to provide for her children. She spends her mornings at University, takes care of the girls in the afternoon, and studies all night after they go to bed. Her plan is to graduate, start a job as a lab technician and be fully independent.
*“Women must complete their education, as no one knows what the future holds. A woman’s only weapon in life is her education,” *
Since 2020, more than 1,700 children with severe disabilities have been benefitting from UNICEF’s cash transfer programme in rural Damascus. Support for families in Syria is crucial to help them meet their children’s needs.
A life of conflict: Meet 10 year old Asinat
Published on Fri May 28 2021
At 10 years old, Asinat has known only war and violence in her short life. She was born at the start of the Syrian conflict, and with no end in sight, her life continues to be impacted on a daily basis.
One of Asinat's earliest memories is of fleeing her home as a toddler, as shells fell all around. Her family continued to be displaced over and over, as the violence followed them wherever they went.
"I remember running to my mother and burying my head in her lap whenever I heard the sounds of shelling,” she recalls.
Asinat has been scarred by years of war. But not having enough food has been equally traumatic for her.
“Hunger is what I will never forget.”
For over five years, Asinat and her family lived under a tight siege in east Ghouta, surviving mainly on bread.
“I remember waking up in the middle of the night crying of an empty stomach,” recalls Asinat. “My mother would have always left me a piece of bread from her share, but it was never enough,”.
As the siege raged on, the most basic food became harder to find and the cost skyrocketed - even flour became 100 times more expensive.
To help her family, Asinat would go on scavenger hunts with other children during the day. They'd collect wild greens for their mothers to cook; a desperate attempt to put anything in their bellies.
One day while still under siege, Asinat was feeling scared and hungry. So to make her feel better, her mother gave her five Syrian pounds so she could buy a chocolate bar once the siege was over.
Asinat did not even know what a chocolate bar was, she'd never seen one.
“My mom would go on and on about the taste," says Asinat, "so I held on to the money, dreaming of the day when mom’s stories about this chocolate bar become a reality!”
Asinat as other dreams too. They are very simple, and remain very distant.
“Ten years from now, I hope my home gets fixed and that we’ll be able to buy as much food as we need,” says Asinat.
“I also want to work with children and buy them biscuits, fruits and clothes.”
While the conflict in Syrian ticked passed 10 years in 2021, UNICEF has been on the ground helping children, supporting families and aiding communities to survive since the beginning of the conflict.
And we continue to ensure we reach those most in need, like Asinat and her family, every day.
By donating to UNICEF's Syria Appeal you'll be helping ensure our life saving work can continue.
Supporting malnourished Syrian children during the COVID-19 pandemic
Published on Thu Apr 16 2020
Despite movement restrictions across the Syrian Arab Republic, due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures, UNICEF’s health and nutrition partners continue to reach children and women with life-saving aid.
Mahmoudli camp in rural Ar-Raqqa is just one of the Syrian camps UNICEF supporters are providing aid for. Mahmoudli hosts more than 8,000 internally displaced people – many of which are children, who fled their homes due to escalating violence.
UNICEF's team visits the camp three times a week to provide nutrition services and to monitor and follow up on malnourished children. This support is critical when it comes to ensuring Syrian children survive the harsh conditions of the camp – with malnutrition still contributing to the death of millions of children around the world each year.
When malnourished, children are vulnerable to diseases, stunting and even death. This risk is now even more profound, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow. If the virus reaches the already crowded Syrian camps, it will spread at a lethal rate.
Children are the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is critical at these times that children’s access to learning, health, nutrition and protection services are not affected.
Please donate now and help UNICEF provide life-saving support to Syrian children and families.
The threat of COVID-19 for Syrian Refugees
Published on Thu Apr 02 2020
COVID-19 poses a huge risk to those living in refugee or displacement camps - where families live in cramped conditions, with little to no access to medicine, soap or clean water. With handwashing and social distancing being the best defence against COVID-19, it will be near impossible for Syrian families to avoid infection.
UNICEF is on the ground, supporting Syrian children with life-saving supplies - but the need is great. Not only do refugee children need the regular humanitarian assistance they lean on to survive - food, clean water, vaccines, medicine and safe-spaces, but now entire communities urgently need medical and hygiene supplies to curb the spread of infection.
The need for your support has never been greater. Please donate now and help rush supplies to the Syrian children that need it most.
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