A total of 9.3 million Syrian children are in need of aid than at any time since the devastating civil war erupted in the country over a decade ago, the United Nations warned on Sunday.
“Millions of children continue to live in fear, need and uncertainty inside Syria and the neighboring countries,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The UN agency said more than 6.5 million children in Syria are in need of assistance while in neighboring countries, 2.8 million Syrian refugee children depend on aid.
Khodr said many families struggle to make ends meet, adding that the prices of basic supplies including food are skyrocketing, partially as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.
UNICEF said the agency faced a severe cash shortfall to provide aid and that it has received less than half of its funding requirements for this year.
“Of our requirements to reach children and families impacted by the crisis in Syria, we urgently need nearly $20 million for the cross-border operations, the only lifeline for nearly 1 million children in the northwest of Syria,” UNICEF declared.
Humanitarian aid delivered to the northwest of Syria pass mainly through the border between Turkey and Syria, without going through government channels in Damascus.
The agency repeated that the crisis in Syria is far from over.
“Only in the first three months of this year, 213 children were killed or injured. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, over 13,000 children have been confirmed killed or injured,” it said.
Since it began over a decade ago, the conflict has killed nearly half a million people, wounded more than a million and displaced half the country’s population, including more than 5 million refugees, more than at any time since World War II.