UN: Syrian child refugees hits one million mark

2013-08-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The number of Syrian children living as refugees has reached one million, while another two million have been displaced within the country or recruited as fighters.
This latest number comes from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and the UN children’s fund UNICEF. The UN said that the number of children living as refugees now accounts for half of all Syrians driven abroad by the conflict. According to UNHCR, nearly two million Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and North Africa. At least 100,000 people are believed to have died in the two-year conflict, 7,000 of whom are believed to be children.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, UNICEF spokesperson Patrick McCormick described the latest number as a “shameful milestone,” which does not “bode well” for the future of Syria.

Refugee camps, meanwhile, are facing the challenge of providing for these children. “They can’t provide everything,” he said. Even though some of these camps have become almost like small cities, he continued, “they can never replace a real home for a child, and was never meant to.”
McCormick said he hopes that these latest numbers serve as “an alarm bell… to really bring this terrible crisis to an end and get these children back to their homes.”
Listen to Ann Schneible’s full interview with Patrick McCormick: