EASTERN GHOUTA: With most of the neighbourhood in ruins, tens of thousands of Syrians are still displaced with no home to return to, but hundreds have also returned to what remains of their houses or stayed all along. Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC

8 facts after 8 years of conflict in Syria

Pernille Røe|Published 15. Mar 2019
The conflict in Syria has been going on for eight years, with brutal consequences. Here are eight of them:

#1: 11.7 million people need humanitarian assistance

Syrians need food, shelter, health care, education and water, among other services. 7.8 million, around two thirds of the people in need of aid, live in government-controlled areas, areas that several donor countries have been reluctant to scale up funding for. The government has also imposed restrictions on humanitarians, making it harder to reach people in need.

#2: 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced

They have been forced to flee their own homes and live as displaced people in their own country. Many have been displaced several times.

#3: 50 per cent live at risk of explosive hazards

Explosive hazards can be landmines and unexploded ordnance. This is a major protection concern. Estimates indicate that 10 million people live in contaminated areas.

#4: 2.1 million school aged children are out of school

Some children have lost up to 6 years of school. Displacement is often the reason. Before the conflict, an estimated 97 per cent of Syrian children attended primary school and 67 per cent attended secondary school.

The Syria crisis has had a devastating impact on both the education opportunities available and the quality of these opportunities; it has left a generation of children and youth unprotected, disconnected and often unable to access their right to learn.

#5: One in four schools have been damaged or destroyed

With one in four schools destroyed or damaged, under attack and/or used for temporary shelters after years of conflict, schools are no longer a safe or joyful place for children to hope and dream. In addition to school children, this also affects the teachers. 180,000 teachers no longer have a school to work at.

#6: 5.7 million Syrians live as refugees in neighbouring countries

The neighbouring countries, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, have shown an incredible generosity, hosting a total of 5.7 million refugees. Donors must continue to support neighbouring countries so that refugees can continue living in safety and dignity, with their most basic needs such as food, water, shelter, health care and education covered.

#7: 70 per cent of the refugees are living below the poverty line

In the neighbouring countries, 70 per cent of the refugees live below the poverty line. Most of them are in debt. As a result, to support their families, many kids have had to drop out of school and work instead. Among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, one in three boys aged 15 to 17 are engaged in child labour.

#8: The regional response plan for Syrian refugees was only partly funded last year

Only about 52 per cent of the money needed to respond to the refugee crisis in the region was received last year. The response inside Syria was also heavily under-funded.

This year there is a need for about 5.5 billion USD to the regional response and 3.3 billion USD to respond to the humanitarian needs inside Syria.

Without more money, life-saving and life-sustaining activities will be heavily affected. NRC calls for a scale-up of humanitarian assistance inside government-controlled areas, in addition to continued assistance to Syrians in areas outside of government control and to refugees in neighbouring countries.