|Matt Crossick/Save the Children
Negin Janati 203.212.0044 (M)
Fairfield, Conn. (February 4, 2016) — As a major Syria conference starts today in London, new analysis from Save the Children reveals that since the conflict started in March 2011, an average of 3,245 children have been forced to leave their homes every day.
The organization is urging world leaders meeting in London to step up and prevent a lost generation of children in the Middle East. The total number of children who are now displaced, either within Syria or as refugees in the region, stands at 5.8 million – more than the entire populations of Colorado or Maryland.
Children are also being denied one of their most important rights: education. A few years ago, nearly 100 percent of children in Syria were in school, and now around one in four schools are damaged, destroyed or occupied, and in parts of the country school enrollment is now as low as 6 percent. In total, there are 2.8 million Syrian children out of school within Syria itself and in neighboring countries.
Education, in particular, is an area where the leaders meeting in London could achieve real results. Save the Children is calling on the conference delegates to:
- Close the education funding gap by committing $1.4 billion per year to the sector.
- Put policies in place that guarantee access to education, such as allowing refugee children to go to school regardless of their legal status and giving parents the chance to earn a living so their children can continue their education.
- Take measures to put pressure on the parties to the conflict to protect students, teachers and schools from attack.
Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children US said: "For almost half a decade now, Syria's children have faced not only displacement and denial of education, but barrel bombs, shelling, hunger and disease. Despite the challenges and the ferocity of the war, we have a real opportunity at this conference to make a significant difference in their lives.
"Our message to leaders meeting today and the international community is simple: every child should have the opportunity to learn. We cannot stand by and accept that we may see a lost generation of Syrian children who have never had the chance to go to school."
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.