The crisis in Syria began in March 2011 with a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in the southern city of Deraa. Inspired by popular demonstrations across the Arab region in support of democratic reform, thousands of Syrians took to the streets in opposition to President Bashar al Assad.
The protracted conflict between opposition groups and the Syrian regime continues to grow and intensify. The escalating severity of violence results in devastating impacts for the civilian population – particularly children. Many Syrians have been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. According to estimates in August 2014 by the United Nations, 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria and 3 million people have fled across the border to seek refuge in neighboring countries. In Lebanon already more than one million Syrian refugees are registered, half of whom are children.
Regular reports are issued of grave violations of human rights being inflicted against children. The deteriorating security situation prohibits many children from accessing education or health facilities, and creates severe protection threats and risks to their livelihoods.
Children in Syria regularly bear witness to violence and to the trauma of war, and are furthermore without access to adequate means of support. Approximately half of those affected by the violent conflict in Syria are children.
What we do
As the violence in Syria continues to escalate, children are increasingly vulnerable and in need. Through its team in Lebanon, War Child Holland has been actively responding to the emergency crisis for Syrian children since early 2012. Additionally, War Child has been providing targeted support to Palestinian children from Syria, whose families have relocated to the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and are coping with their second, often third displacement.
Presently, War Child is the leading agency providing education and psychosocial support services to Syrian children, through the creation of Safe Spaces in Lebanon. These spaces provide an opportunity for children to begin recovering from the experience of their displacement, and to access support for their psychosocial and emotional wellbeing.