Five years after the outbreak of violence in Syria, an incomprehensible humanitarian disaster prevails. Around half of the 22 million inhabitants of Syria are on the run inside and outside the country. The life expectancy in the country decreased by 13 years since the beginning of the war.
Air strikes of the government and of the foreign coalition mainly affect civilians and destroy vital infrastructure such as schools and hospitals. Military forces of the government and radical militia besiege areas and starve out the population. The war destroyed the livelihood of millions of people,around 13.5 million are dependent on humanitarian aid, 6 million of which are children and adolescents. The government misuses the access to humanitarian aid as a weapon of war. Therefore, for example the delivery of essential goods to Madimayet, a place 20 minutes away from Damascus, takes up to 48 hours due to squabbles and delays at checkpoints of the government.
“Children in particular are suffering from the horror of the war and the consequences of systematic destruction of essential infrastructure such as bakeries, drinking water facilities and hospitals” explains Jörg Angerstein, head of communication of Terre des Hommes (Germany).
“Most of the schools are literally laying in ruins or classes are not taking place because of security reasons. The enrolment rate dropped to under 50%, one in two Syrian children don’t go to school and don’t acquire skills for its future life. Thousands of refugee children without perspectives for the future grow up in the neighbouring countries of Syria. Many of them live and work on the streets in order to feed themselves and their families.”
After five years of war, Terre des Hommes calls on the international community to finally take on the responsibility for the well-being of people in Syria and to implement the following decisions within the framework of the peace negotiations :
- An immediate cease-fire, ending of the bombings and strikes
- An immediate ending of the blockade and the starving out of cities, districts and villages together with an access to humanitarian aid organisations for providing supply
- The consultations of national and international parties to the conflict with the aim to develop a transition phase for Syria
Terre des Hommes calls for donor countries to finally allocate the promised funds for financing humanitarian aid through the United Nations and international humanitarian organisations.
Terre des Hommes organisations support projects in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. The assistance is focused on material and psychosocial support for refugee children and their families.