Syria’s offensive has prevented 55,000 children from receiving assistance
The worst displacement in the seven-year war caused by President Bashar al-Assad’s offensive has resulted in an estimated 55,000 children being cut off from aid and risk hunger in Syria.
Last month, the government forces swept southwestern Syria in one of the most intense campaigns of the war. It is estimated that the ongoing war has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and displaced 11 million people.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 55,000 children are at risk of death without life-saving assistance in the al-Quneitra province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights border.
Caroline Anning, spokeswoman for Save the Children, commented:
"This is life or death for these children - they are being subjected to air strikes, barrel bombs and being cut off from humanitarian aid."
Save the Children have warned that children have died and become ill in the last few weeks due to drinking dirty water, dehydration, lice and snake bites.
The United Nations has warned that the outbreak of fighting following the army’s attempt to recapture a rebel held area of Southern Syria has led to a humanitarian disaster in the southwest.
Juliette Touma, a UNICEF spokeswoman in Amman, mentioned:
"What concerns us are the restrictions on the humanitarian access - it is unacceptable."
In response international and local organisations have been working together to give identity bracelets to children in case they are separated from their families.
Caroline Anning added:
“It is a really depressing cycle that keeps happening in Syria. We are urging for a ceasefire, for humanitarians to be able to continue their work, and for aid convoys to be able to get in to this area.”
Join us for the 10th Anniversary AIDF Global Summit to discuss global challenges such as conflict and displacement.
If you’d like to stay informed on the latest updates in aid and development, please sign up for the AIDF newsletter.
Image credit: UNICEF