A Unicef member of staff measures a Syrian child's arm to check if they have malnutrition. Unicef/2017/Amin
A Unicef member of staff measures a Syrian child's arm to check if they have malnutrition. Unicef/2017/Amin

Our work for
Syrian children

Home > Our work for Syrian children

The war in Syria has reached a devastating ten years. Between 2011 and 2020 it has been reported that more than 12,000 children have been killed and injured in Syria. More than 2.6 million children have been forced to flee Syria and are living in precarious conditions in surrounding countries.

UNICEF is working tirelessly to protect Syrian children and give them hope for a happy future. We’re there in Syria and in the refugee camps, ensuring children have life-saving supplies including medicine, healthcare and food. But we’re also providing longer-term support to help children, young people and families rebuild their lives. We’re providing education, psychosocial support and safe spaces for them to play and have some much-needed fun.

You can help us reach more children by making a donation today to our Syria children’s appeal.

Help us keep more Syrian children safe

Donate now

How your donations help children like Somar to rebuild their childhood

In 2017, UNICEF spoke to 8-year-old Somar and his family:

The warm smile of Somar, 8, is a true reflection of his strong will and ambition to become a violinist and a professional swimmer. Living with Down’s Syndrome, seven years of conflict have hit Somar and his family hard.

“I lost my husband in fighting three years ago,” said Somar’s mother. “We were then forced to flee our home, and the financial burdens kept growing but I kept trying to fill the gap that their father’s death had created and to give Somar and his sister Rawad a normal life.”

To help families caring for a child with special needs cope with the rising cost of living, we run a programme distributing regular cash assistance to families of disabled children. This means that some of the most vulnerable families like Somar’s are able to decide where their need is greatest.

Somar’s mother chose to use the monthly allowance given to her to sign him up for swimming and violin lessons that he had always wanted, to help him express himself and develop his talents.

8-year-old Somar plays the violin in Syria.

8-year-old Somar proudly plays his violin. Thanks to a UNICEF-supported cash assistance programme, Somar is able to continue with his violin lessons.

8-year-old Somar plays his violin in Syria. Unicef/2017/Al-Issa
I've seen him change so much since he started these lessons.

He's a happy child now, despite everything he's been through.

Somar's mother, speaking about his violin lessons

How else is UNICEF helping children in Syria?

We are one of the few humanitarian organisations working inside Syria, as well as being present for refugee families in surrounding countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. We’re also working to protect, promote and uphold the rights of those Syrian children who have made the perilous journey to Europe in search of a better future.

UNICEF is trying to help children with life-changing injuries and disabilities to recover; and to keep children safe by explaining the risks from landmines and unexploded ordnance. We’re also helping repair water sources inside Syria, as well as providing essential water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for Syrian refugees.

Across the region, we provide child-friendly spaces, which offer learning support and psychological care, as well as a safe space to play. We’re working closely with education authorities to make sure that children are able to go to school. We’re working to make sure that more than 3.5 million Syrian children are able to learn; and help thousands more get life-skills education.

16-year-old Syrian refugee Tijan takes you on a tour of the Makani - meaning "my space" in Arabic - centre in a refugee camp in Jordan.

Help us keep more Syrian children safe

Donate now

Discover more