Eileen Burke 203.216.0718
Francine Uenuma 202.450.9153
WESTPORT, Conn. (January 7, 2014) — One billion dollars is urgently needed to rescue a whole generation of Syrian children, leading humanitarian organizations have announced.
Save the Children, UNICEF, UNHCR, World Vision and other aid agencies today called for governments, NGOs and members of the public to become champions for the children of Syria and support efforts to protect a generation of Syrian children from a life of despair, diminished opportunities and broken futures.
Announcing the campaign to raise $1 billion, called "No Lost Generation," the organizations are focusing donor and public support on critical programs to lift Syrian children out of misery, isolation and trauma. The strategy is being publically unveiled one week ahead of a major donor conference in Kuwait for humanitarian aid for Syria.
A major public engagement campaign under the hashtag #childrenofsyria is also being launched, using social media to enlist influential supporters and public contributors.
"The average American can tune out the Syrian war as easily as they can turn off their television. But that is not the case for a whole generation of Syrian children who live it day after day with an uncertain future," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "It has been more than 1,000 days since this war began — we have no time to lose to invest in their future. The world has a moral obligation to act."
The $1 billion will be spent to deliver safe education, protection from exploitation, abuse and violence and psychological care for affected children. These programs include strengthening national and community-based child protection systems, which respond to the needs of girls, boys and families at high risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence while protecting all children against such risks.
The initiative will also scale up access to quality education for refugee children who have escaped Syria, and for school children who remain inside the country. The "No Lost Generation" initiative will provide remedial education and psychosocial support organized in school clubs for pre-schoolers and out-of-school children.
Across the region, Save the Children teams have so far helped more than 600,000 refugee children and family members, including 230,000 children and family members inside Syria, with food, safe water, medicine, and shelter.
- Over 1 million Syrian refugees are children, of which more than 425,000 are under the age of five. The vast majority of these refugees have fled either to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. Among them, nearly 8,000 children have been identified as being separated from their families. The situation for the more than 3 million displaced children inside Syria is even more dire.
- A special website has been established at www.championthechildrenofsyria.org that tells the stories of children affected by the conflict, and shows how investments in children can deliver important dividends, not just for the current victims of the war, but for the longer-term future of Syria and the wider region.
- Most of the funding for the “No Lost Generation” initiative is being sought through two existing appeals – the Regional Response Plan aimed at addressing the needs of Syria’s child refugees, and The Syrian Humanitarian Assistance response plan, which addresses the needs of Syrian children who are internally displaced.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.