UN calls for aid, open borders for Syrian refugees

UN calls for aid, open borders for Syrian refugees
Sun Mar 16, 2014 08:46:03

The UN and international aid groups have urged for all borders to be open to Syrian refugees as the crisis, worsening each day, has entered its fourth year.

An estimated 2.3 million children were in need of shelter, food, health care, education or psychological help only last year, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake on Saturday. Since March 2013, the number of children affected by the crisis has more than doubled to 5.5 million, according to the organization.

“Every one of those numbers has a face. Every one of those numbers is a child who has lost a future, or whose future is at risk," said Lake, calling the three year mark "a sad and infuriating anniversary."

Over time it has grown into what has been dubbed the worst humanitarian crisis witnessed for decades. The number of those killed topped the 100,000 mark when the UN stopped counting months ago.

Opponents in Syria say the number could be as high as 146,000 people. More than 2.5 million Syrians sought refuge in neighboring countries, while 6.5 million have been displaced inside. Civilians have been hit the hardest – three quarters of the refugees are said to be women and children.

UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres speaking at a press-conference on Saturday said that is unacceptable that “Syrian children are drowning in the Mediterranean today after fleeing the conflict.”

A Damascus resident told RT that his young children are forced to work to put food on the table.

“My life and the life of my children has changed 180 degrees since the first days of the Syrian crisis up to now” said Abu Hamadeh. “I was disabled when my house was hit by a mortar and destroyed.”

“Between then and now if it weren’t for my kids working and helping me somehow I would [not] be able to feed them.”

Syria’s economy and infrastructure have been devastated by the foreign-hatched war. More than 60 percent of Syrians live in poverty and less than half of the population even has a job. Landmark sites that made up the country’s cultural heritage have been destroyed, museums have been looted and archaeological sites smashed by shelling.


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