3D Exhibition: #SyriaNotForgotten

Published: Apr 9, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
3D Exhibition: #SyriaNotForgotten
© Foto: People in Need

The war in Syria might have faded from headlines long ago, but this does not mean the 13-year war is over. The war continues, and so does the humanitarian crisis and the suffering of the people. The Syrian people face ongoing hostilities, a worsening economic situation, a devastating earthquake, a cholera outbreak, and climate and human-caused shocks.

Together, these are compounding an already dire situation and making people even more vulnerable. It is estimated that 16.7 million people in Syria will need humanitarian assistance in 2024, up from 15.3 million in 2023. On top of all this, the country still has the world's largest internally displaced population, with 7.2 million people living in temporary housing situations.

At this critical juncture and with many ongoing and newly erupting global crises, the funding for a crucial humanitarian response is decreasing. This decrease directly impacts vulnerable people.

Khaled appreciates the support

For example, Khaled, the father of a displaced family in northwest Syria, notes the importance of support: "People in Need started supporting the camp with food vouchers a year ago. These vouchers helped alleviate a great part of our financial burden. Last year, their value was higher. My family of nine people received $100. This year, it was reduced to $65. Nevertheless, it is still good. The vouchers helped us purchase sugar, cooking oil, tea, rice, and bulgur. With the vouchers, we could cover our necessities. This year it won't be enough like before. Hopefully, it will be enough to help my family until mid-month. When we first arrived, my children had to skip school to go to work. The voucher helped us so they could stop working."

In situations like Khaled's, early recovery programming is not only essential but needed more than ever to complement humanitarian interventions and ensure that the resilience building of communities is not hampered. It is vital to ensure that investments in recovery and human capital are not lost. Safeguarding the continuity of education is also fundamental in that regard, as it fosters long-term resilience and overall development and welfare of children, youth, and future generations.

Out-of-school children

The reintegration of out-of-school children—or those at risk of dropping out—through non-formal education in remote areas and camps must be complemented with the creation of additional educational pathways. Furthermore, the transitioning of children from non-formal centres to formal schools should be supplemented by the provision of high-quality primary and secondary education, especially where the transition from primary to secondary education is low.

With almost non-existent job opportunities and a deteriorating economic situation, the prospects are bleak for people in Syria. How can Khaled support his family? Will he have any other option than to take his children out of school and have them work again? We do not know.

What we do know is that after 13 years of war, the Syrian people remain resilient, and continued multisectoral humanitarian support with an increased focus on early recovery interventions will be critical in the years ahead. As Khaled puts it, "We have great faith that our suffering will end and we will return home. Life has to go on, whether we like it or not."

EU Humanitarian Aid

The European Union and its Member States are among the world's leading donors of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters and human-induced crises.

Through the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

Autor: Petr Štefan, People in Need

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