Syria – Situation of children affected by the conflict (March 11, 2014)
As the report just published by UNICEF confirms, more than a million children are currently trapped in besieged areas that are inaccessible to humanitarian assistance and are in need of food and medical care, while almost 3 million children have been forced to flee their homes.
France renews its call, in accordance with UNSCR 2139, for an immediate end to the attacks against civilians, for an end to all sieges, and the release of prisoners, beginning with child prisoners. It supports UNICEF’s demand that access be granted to children in the besieged areas and that they be provided with the assistance and education they need. Only a political solution can put an end to the tragedy affecting an entire generation in Syria.
Beyond the direct victims of the regime’s bombing and sniper attacks, the physical and psychological health of Syrian children is being jeopardized. Their education is also being compromised: one in five schools has been destroyed. This is UNICEF’s alarming assessment of the harm wreaked on the 5.5 million children affected by the conflict.
France reaffirms its commitment to the protection of children in armed conflict. It fully supports UNICEF and its outstanding work with Syrian children, notably within the framework of the polio immunization campaign.