UNICEF: clean water scarcity puts Syrian children at risk

Published July 10th, 2015 - 01:57 GMT
Displaced children in Raqqa, Syria line up for a free iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast, July 2013.  (AFP/Mezar Matar)
Displaced children in Raqqa, Syria line up for a free iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast, July 2013. (AFP/Mezar Matar)

The UN children’s agency warned Friday that intense summer heat and a lack of clean water are putting Syria’s children at “high risk” of disease, AP reported.  

Children are especially at risk to disease outbreak in eastern Syria’s Deir al-Zor, where sewage contaminates the Euphrates river.

Ongoing unrest and war in Syria since 2011 has damaged the country’s infrastructure and left over 220,000 people dead.  Meanwhile, millions have been displaced by violence within the country and struggle to live in dirty and overcrowded conditions. 

Poor conditions in the country have also lead to dependence on child labor. A UN report released last week said children contribute to their families’ incomes in over three quarters of surveyed homes.  

Syrian refugee children, according to the report, have often been forced to work for survival in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.

While UNICEF regional director Dr. Peter Salma stressed in the report that child labor dangerously “hinders children’s growth and development,” the implications for the issue extend far into the future, as many fear a “lost generation” of Syrians.


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