EU urged to support ‘nine million’ Syrian refugees

We cannot afford to lose a generation of Syrian children, writes Marius Wanders.

By Marius Wanders

17 Apr 2014

If you ask eight-year-old Hamze – who lives in a refugee camp in Jordan – what he misses about his life in Syria, he replies, “Curtains. We had curtains in our house in Syria. Here, it’s a tent”. He also misses his father, who the family have lost contact with. His mother fears the worst.

Hamze is one of an estimated nine million Syrians who have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries or within Syria itself.

World Vision has been responding to the needs of Syrian refugees affected by this crisis through the provision of food vouchers, education, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, child-friendly spaces, as well as water, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure.

"Experts warn if the immediate needs for education, psychosocial support and protection are not met for the millions of children living in desperate conditions in Syria and neighbouring countries, a whole generation could be lost"

However, experts warn if the immediate needs for education, psychosocial support and protection are not met for the millions of children living in desperate conditions in Syria and neighbouring countries, a whole generation could be lost, with the effects of this conflict continuing to ripple within the region for decades to come.

The recent World Vision report ‘Our uncertain future’, written and researched by Syrian refugee children, reveals the burdens of financial insecurity, physical and verbal abuse and increasingly unsure futures.

The EU and its member states must intensify efforts to support Syrian children with psychosocial assistance and protection. World Vision thanks EU humanitarian crisis commissioner Kristalina Georgieva for championing the children of Syria as a driving member of the #NoLostGeneration campaign.

The opinions expressed by Syrian children reinforce the urgency of this campaign – calling us all to listen and act. The world and Syria cannot afford to lose this generation.

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