Risk of a lost generation in Syria as more than 3,000 children flee their homes every day

Thursday 4 February 2016

As a major Syria conference starts today [Thursday] in London, new analysis from Save the Children reveals that since the conflict started in March 2011, an average of 3,245[1] children have been forced to leave their homes every single day.  

 The charity is urging world leaders meeting in London to step up and prevent a lost generation of children in the Middle East. The total number of children who are now displaced, either within Syria or as refugees in the region, stands at 5.8 million – more than the entire populations of Norway or Ireland.

Children are also being denied one of their most important rights: education. Whereas a few years ago Syria had almost full enrolment, in parts of the country school enrolment is now as low as 6 percent and around one in four schools are damaged, destroyed or occupied. In total, there are 2.8 million Syrian children out of school within Syria itself and in neighbouring countries.

Education, in particular, is an area where the leaders meeting in London could achieve real results. Save the Children is calling on the conference delegates to:

  • Close the education funding gap by committing $1.4bn per year to the sector.

  • Put policies in place that guarantee access to education, such as allowing refugee children to go to school regardless of their legal status and giving parents the chance to earn a living so their children can stay in education.

  • Take measures to pressurise the parties to the conflict to protect students, teachers and schools from attack.

 

Janti Soeripto, Interim CEO , Save the Children International said: “For almost half a decade now, Syria’s children have faced not only displacement and denial of education but barrel bombs, shelling, hunger and disease. Despite the challenges and the ferocity of the war, we have a real opportunity at this conference to make a significant difference to their lives.

 

“Our message to leaders meeting today and the international community is simple: from the next school year onwards, every Syrian child should have the opportunity to learn. We cannot stand by and accept that we may see a lost generation of children who have never had the chance to go to school.”

 

Save the Children works both inside Syria and in the regional refugee host countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. We are providing food, clean water, healthcare, shelter, protection and education, and have reached more than two million children since our response started. The Syria crisis is Save the Children’s largest ever humanitarian response.

 

Save the Children will have media spokespeople available at the London Syria conference - for interviews and briefings in the press centre, please contact Caroline Anning: c.anning@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 7785527663 / +447752825077

 

Download b-roll, photos and case studies from inside Syria, including exclusive footage of a destroyed school, here:

http://storycentral.savethechildren.org.uk/pages/search.php?search=%21collection34299&k=42f58dfaac




[1] This figure comes from the total number of refugee and IDP Syrian children (5.8 million; 2 million refugees and 3.8 million displaced according to UN figures) divided by the number of days between March 15th 2011 and Feb 4th 2016 (1,787), which equals 3245.6. This is an average figure, and there will be significant variations on different days.

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