As the Syrian crisis see the number of those fleeing the country reach one million, Save the Children is highlighting the shocking fact that over half of them are children.
Wednesday 6 March 2013
52 per cent of those arriving in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are children, many of whom are separated from one or both of their parents.
New UN figures show that this year has seen an explosion in the numbers of desperate families fleeing Syria, with more than a third of the one million refugees arriving since the beginning of 2013.
Worst-case scenario predictions published just three months ago suggested the number would not reach a million until June, but the crisis is outstripping even the most pessimistic assessments.
Save the Children’s chief executive Justin Forsyth said: “The fact that more than half the refugees who have fled this conflict are children shows how hard families are being hit by this brutal conflict.
"This is a war that is disproportionately affecting children, and the sharp increase in numbers fleeing the country shows how much worse the situation is getting. Every day we see thousands of children and their families arrive across the border, many with nowhere to go, often hungry and without a change of clothes.
"All they are looking for is somewhere warm and safe to sleep, a nutritious meal, and somewhere they can be children again.”
"Save the Children and other agencies are doing all we can to help these refugees, but until the situation in Syria improves, the crisis on its borders will continue to grow.
"We are working inside Syria, but access to the worst affected communities is extremely difficult, and many are beyond our reach.
"Humanitarian organisations must be given the space they need to provide relief to those in need."
Save the Children is working on the ground across Syria and in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to provide support to families affected by the conflict. We're delivering food, warm clothing and helping children come to terms with their horrific experiences.