March 15th, 2019
Syria Crisis Enters Its Ninth Year
On March 15, 2011, war in Syria broke out after unprecedented anti-government demonstrations in Daraa were violently suppressed by the regime, triggering a multi-front armed conflict that has drawn in foreign powers and armed groups. Over the course of eight years, the war has dominated headlines all over the world; we have continuously witnessed disturbing images of destruction, violence, families torn apart and people risking their lives in search of safety. Today, widespread devastation and great suffering in Syria continues to drive the world’s biggest refugee crisis and one of its most urgent humanitarian emergencies.
The Crisis in Figures
• 13 million Syrians have been displaced or sent into exile, causing billions of dollars worth of destruction.
• The economy in Syria has been set back 30 years, with conflict destroying much of its infrastructure and devastating the production of electricity and oil.
• More than 3 million children under 5 years require nutritional support, including nearly 20,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
• 13.1 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 6.2 million people who are internally displaced.
• 1.75 million children aged 5 to 17 years out of school and 1.35 million children at risk of dropping out.
Critical Developments Over the Past Three Months
• In northwestern Syria, an estimated 2.7 million men, women and children are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. This figure includes 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) many of whom were displaced several times and have been living in camps for many years. 40 per cent of Syria’s children are currently denied an education and nearly 2 million residents depend on water trucking for most of their clean water.
• In December, the UN released the 2019 – 2020 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan to deal with the continued impact of the Syria crisis. The $5.5 billion plan has been drawn up to support the national efforts of Syria’s neighbouring countries which have offered asylum and protection to refugee populations since the start of the crisis. 5.6 million Syrians are registered across the region with records showing that one million infants have been born into displacement since 2011.
• The battle to defeat ISIS is reportedly in its final stages as US-backed troops escort civilians from the Jihadist group’s final enclave in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border. In February, more than 40 trucks transported thousands of men, women and children in a large-scale evacuation effort. The Syrian Democratic Forces estimates there are 2000 others who remain inside the pocket of territory, and plan to expel ISIS fighters once they are evacuated.
HART partners with St Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC) in Maaloula, Syria, supporting a programme which seeks to empower local women as they return to their town which had been captured by ISIS who not only desecrated holy places but also looted and destroyed homes.The project enables women to preserve fruits and vegetables in order to provide food for their families and to sell produce to generate some income.
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