DAMASCUS, Syria (Kurdistan24) – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Monday revealed 2016 was a disastrous year for Syrian children.
The organization released a report indicating 2016 was the deadliest year for child victims of the Syrian war.
According to UNICEF, nearly 652 children were killed in the civil war last year—a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
The organization also found children were being forced to participate in the war, with 851 children recruited to fight.
“Verified instances of killing, maiming, and recruitment of children increased sharply last year in a drastic escalation of violence across the country,” the UNICEF report read.
UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said the suffering of Syrian children was unique.
“Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down,” he stated. “The depth of suffering is unprecedented.”
“Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being, and future,” the Regional Director added.
Moreover, the UNICEF report pointed to the urgent need for humanitarian assistance for Syrian children.
“Access to medical care, lifesaving supplies, and other basic services remains difficult,” the report explained.
“After six years of war, nearly [six] million children now depend on humanitarian assistance, a twelve-fold increase from 2012,” UNICEF added.
The organization’s Regional Director pointed to the “courage” of Syrian children and urged the international community to provide additional help.
“There is so much more we can and should do to turn the tide for Syria’s children,” Cappelaere concluded.
Editing by Ava Homa