Tuesday 7 January 2014

One billion dollars is urgently needed to rescue a whole generation of Syrian children, leading humanitarian organisations 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 US$1 billion, called “No Lost Generation”, the organisations are focusing donor and public support on critical programmes 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. 
“As this conflict approaches another bitter anniversary, we cannot just sit and watch a generation disappear in front of us,” said Save the Children CEO Jasmine Whitbread. “For nearly three years, Syria’s children have been the most vulnerable of all victims of the conflict, seeing their families and loved ones killed, their schools destroyed and their hopes eroded. Children have also become vulnerable to the worst types of exploitation including child labour, early marriage and recruitment into armed groups and forces.”
The $1 billion will be spent to deliver safe education, protection from exploitation, abuse and violence and psychological care for affected children. These programmes 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 those who remain inside. The “No Lost Generation” initiative will provide remedial education and psychosocial support organized in school clubs for pre-schoolers and other out-of-school children. 
Across the region, Save the Children teams have so far helped over 600,000 refugee children and family members including 230,000 children and family members inside Syria with food, safe water, medicine, and shelter.