The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the number of child refugees who have fled the turmoil in Syria has reached one million.
“This one millionth child refugee is not just another number. This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Friday.
Kids make up half of all refugees who have fled the foreign-sponsored turmoil in Syria. According to recent UN figures, over 740,000 Syrian child refugees are under the age of 11.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also said some 7,000 children have lost their lives during the ongoing crisis in Syria, while over two million others have been internally displaced in the country.
In this regard, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said, “What is at stake is nothing less than the survival and wellbeing of a generation of innocents.”
“The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures. Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope,” said Guterres.
Most of the Syrian refugees have crossed into neighboring countries. They are also increasingly fleeing to North Africa and Europe.
On August 19, the UNHCR announced that more than 30,000 people fled the Arab country to seek refuge in Iraq’s Kurdistan region over the past days, the biggest influx of refugees since November 2012, when approximately 9,000 Syrians crossed into Turkey.
According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced since the outbreak of the violence in March 2011.