Francine Uenuma 202.640.6810 (O), 202.450.9153 (M)
WESTPORT, Conn. (March 6, 2013) — Half of the one million refugees who have now fled the war in Syria are children, Save the Children said Wednesday.
52 percent of those arriving in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are children, many of whom are separated from one or both of their parents.
New UN figures show that this year has seen a spike in the numbers of desperate families fleeing Syria, with more than a third of the one million refugees arriving since the beginning of 2013.
Worst-case scenario predictions published just three months ago suggested the number would not reach a million until June, but the crisis is outstripping even the most pessimistic assessments.
"The fact that more than half the refugees who have fled this conflict are children shows how hard families are being hit by this brutal conflict. This is a war that is disproportionately affecting children, and the sharp increase in numbers fleeing the country shows how much worse the situation is getting," said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children. "Every day we see thousands of children and their families arrive across the border, many with nowhere to go, often hungry and without a change of clothes. All they are looking for is somewhere warm and safe to sleep, a nutritious meal, and somewhere they can be children again."
"Save the Children and other agencies are doing all we can to help these refugees, but until the situation in Syria improves, the crisis on its borders will continue to grow. We are working inside Syria, but access to the worst affected communities is extremely difficult, and many are beyond our reach. Humanitarian organisations must be given the space they need to provide relief to those in need."
Save the Children is working on the ground across Syria and in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to provide support to families affected by the conflict. The aid agency is delivering food, warm clothing and helping children come to terms with their horrific experiences.
For interviews with Save the Children, contact Francine Uenuma. 202.450.9153
Save the Children Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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