30 March 2021 - Syria

Pledging conference: Syrian children will be paying with their lives, education after funding shortfall

Save the Children statement

Syrian children will be paying with their lives, their education and their wellbeing, Save the Children said today, after a fifth annual Brussels Conference for Syria only raised $4.4 billion so far to support people affected by the ten-year conflict. The amount has fallen far short of the US $10 billion dollars that is needed in 2021 for the response[1].

Save the Children’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Eastern Europe Jeremy Stoner said, “Today, children like Lara* have been let down once more. She told us she dreams of going back to school one day, but that dream will be harder to realise after this devastating outcome.

“While we acknowledge efforts by donors to bring attention to the plight of Syrian children, we cannot hide from the fact that some of the richest countries have deeply failed to throw their weight behind life-saving programmes inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. This is a blow to Syrians who have now been living with conflict for ten years, and a far cry from the promise to invest in humanitarian efforts to support refugees in the region.

“The economic shocks from COVID-19 will have undoubtedly played a role in this shortfall, but this must not be an excuse to turn our back on the most vulnerable children and their families in one of the harshest humanitarian contexts in the world.

“Two-thirds of children in Syria are out of learning and over six million are going hungry. These are not just numbers; these are real stories of a people on the edge of catastrophe. The past ten years have been a battle to survive, and these aid cuts push children deeper onto the losing side.”

*name changed to protect identity


[1] https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/united-nations-chiefs-urge-donors-support-record-appeals-syrians-and