Out of the 2.1 million residents of Homs, 600,000 have been displaced by the Syrian conflict. This number, roughly 28%, is expected to increase as the violence continues. To help the people in need UNICEF has responded to the need of children in Syria in three big ways.
3. Establishing Remedial Classes in Neighborhood Shelters
UNICEF has established makeshift classrooms in housing complexes around the Al Wa’ar neighborhood which is where many displaced families have taken shelter. According to UNICEF, 20% of schools in Syria have been destroyed completely, damaged, or are being used to shelter internally displaced people. This has left many children without education for the past two years.
2. Vaccinating Children Against Common Diseases
UNICEF has also begun a vaccination campaign to prevent outbreak of common diseases such as measles, rubella, mumps and polio. This campaign is being enacted through schools and displaced family shelters and is predicted to help 2.5 million children.
1. Upgrading Water Systems
As summer rolls into the Middle East, clean water and up-to-date water treatment facilities become a pressing necessity. In the aftermath of the conflict, many neighborhoods are littered with debris and garbage which pose a threat to children in Syria. UNICEF is supporting an upgrade of sanitation and water treatment facilities that will aid people as the extreme heat of summer arrives.
The Syrian civil war began on March 15, 2011 and has since left roughly 6 million Syrians in need of aid and 4 million people internally displaced. Due to these high numbers, many observers are concerned that, if the war drags on, this current generation of young people will become a lost generation.