As the Syrian crisis enters its tenth year, the severity and complexity of humanitarian needs remain extensive. Years of continued bombardment, attacks on civilians, doctors, health workers, and healthcare facilities has left an extremely vulnerable population in Syria. The healthcare infrastructure has been decimated leaving people with limited to no access to emergency and specialized medical care as they are struggling with disease and malnutrition among other illnesses. Countless Syrians are in need of mental health care after being exposed to the traumatic experiences they have faced for the past 10 years. Countless others lost limbs or have become disabled due to indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The impact of present and past hostilities on civilians remains the principal driver of humanitarian needs in Syria.
AlShami Hospital in Ariha in Idlib Suburbs in Syria destroyed by airstrikes, 2020.
Millions are displaced, living in dire conditions with no protection from extreme weather or access to basic human needs such as clean water.
According to the UNICEF report, “The Syrian Crisis: Fast Facts,” issued in August 2019, 11.7 million of the 18.4 million people in Syria are in need; 5 million are children. There are 6.2 million displaced, of which 2.6 million are children. Only one half of health facilities are functional, and the national rate for obtaining routine vaccines decreased from 80% in 2010 to less than 50% in 2017, and this led to the spread of many diseases. More than two thirds of children with physical or mental disabilities need specialized health services, and they are not available in their areas of existence.
The proportion of acute malnutrition cases among pregnant or lactating women increased to more than two times in 2018.
Over 20,000 children under the age of five suffer from moderate to severe malnutrition.
According to a recent survey conducted by Save the Children, 65% of Syrian children “have not had an apple, an orange, or a banana for at least three months”, and according to ReliefWeb International in “Hidden Hunger in Syria” report, at least 1 in 8 children, or 500,000, currently suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting. Source: Save the Children. Sep 2020.
Over 6.5 million people are food insecure. More than half of the family members rely on unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs. Families living in squatter settlements spend more than half their income on water. 70% of wastewater is not treated, and half of the sewage networks are not working; this exposes its users, especially children, to huge health risks.
The Syrian crisis continues to have a major impact on people in all countries. The poverty rate among Syrian refugees in neighboring countries is: Jordan- 80%, Lebanon- 71%, Turkey- 64%, and Iraq- 37%. The Syrian crisis will continue to negatively affect people for years to come as attacks, poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition and disease continue to ponder in areas of distress.
According to Refugees International, September 2019 report, “Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population. It is a tremendous responsibility—one that not only the Turkish government but also the people of Turkey have been called upon to shoulder. Most of Turkey’s refugee population do not live in camps, but rather in host communities across the country, mostly in urban areas. In these communities, refugees rent apartments and send their children to Turkish schools. Although they often receive some form of humanitarian assistance, many refugees work to provide for their families. At 3.6 million, Syrians make up the vast majority of Turkey’s refugee population.
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