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Syria: No Lost Generation report shows education & protection programs helping children, but adolescents angry and vulnerable

2014-09-24

Millions more children at risk as the crisis deepens 

TORONTO, September 24, 2014 – The deepening crisis in Syria continues to put an entire generation of children at risk, says a progress report released today by the No Lost Generation initiative at a meeting of key government, NGO and UN partners on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

The report notes that adolescents are particularly vulnerable and underserved, with anger and frustration at their situations making them more susceptible to the lure of armed groups. Creating opportunities to prevent them from being drawn into violence and conflict is critical.

“Helping the children of Syria is investing in the future of Syria, as today’s children are tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers and leaders. Investing in this generation is helping them acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to rebuild their communities when peace returns,” says UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to heal their hearts and minds. And there is so much more to be done.”

The meeting at UNICEF headquarters marks one year since a coalition of partners used the occasion of the UN General Assembly to call for concerted action to prevent the loss of an entire generation of Syrian children. Governments, host communities and other partners have since made significant progress in reaching more children with education and protection support and services, despite continued conflict, increased displacement and worsening living conditions for many families.

Strides made in education and protection

  • Over the last year, an additional 770,000 children affected by the Syria crisis benefitted from some form of education and almost 660,000 children received psychological support.
  • Enrolment in formal and non-formal education increased from 169,500 in 2013 to 489,000 in 2014, in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
  • 128,000 pupils have been helped to attend school clubs in volatile cross-line areas in war-torn Syria.
  • In 2014, 72,000 children inside Syria and 587,000 refugee children living in host countries have been provided with essential psychosocial support.
  • 200,000 caregivers in Lebanon have been reached with support programs designed to promote a nurturing environment and prevent child maltreatment.

The No Lost Generation initiative appealed for $885 million to fund education and child protection services in Syria and host countries in 2014. To date $301 million (34%) has been received, leaving a gap of $584 million. 

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About No Lost Generation

No Lost Generation is an initiative by the United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations, and governments, to alleviate the impact of the Syrian crisis on children’s learning and psychological wellbeing and address the potential long-term consequences for a generation of children and young people in Syria and neighbouring countries. Launched in October 2013, it aims to expand access to education, increase psychosocial support, strengthen child protection, bolster social cohesion and promote peace building so that the children of Syria can build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.