Syrian children in host communities living in poverty, says Unicef

By agency reporter
February 26, 2018

Syrian refugee families living in host communities in Jordan are increasingly struggling to meet their basic needs, including educating and protecting their children, UNICEF says. According to UNICEF’s latest assessment, 85 per cent of registered Syrian refugee children are living below the poverty line. 

In addition, 94 per cent of Syrian children under five living in host communities are “multidimensionally poor”, meaning that they are deprived of a minimum of two out of the following five basic needs – education, health, water and sanitation, child protection and child safety.

“With the unparalleled massive scale of the Syria crisis and its prolonged nature, Jordan needs continued support in order to manage the impact of this crisis and meet the needs of vulnerable children”, said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Representative, Jordan. “Seven years into this crisis, we need to collectively continue to do all that we can to support vulnerable refugee children and their families that are struggling to meet their basic needs.”

According to the recent UNICEF assessment, Syrian refugee children and their families living in host communities are experiencing the following deprivations:

  • Four out of 10 Syrian families are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food for an adequate diet, with an additional 26 per cent vulnerable to becoming food insecure
  • 45 per cent of Syrian 0-5 year olds are not accessing proper health services including vaccinations and disability services
  • 38 per cent of Syrian children are not in school, citing distance, cost, lack of space and bullying as reasons for dropping out or not enrolling
  • For Syrian children aged 6-17 years, child labour and violence continue to be key challenges
  • 16 per cent of Syrian children from 0-5 years do not have a birth certificate, which will present challenges and expose them to additional risks as they grow up.

Vulnerable Syrian refugee families in host communities shared their experiences during the assessment, including their daily struggles to pay the rent, cover medical bills and overcome the cost of sending their children to school. There were examples of parents skipping meals to allow their children to  eat adequately. Vulnerable Syrian families are increasingly forced into negative coping mechanisms such as child labour and early marriage to survive.

UNICEF is working with the Government, donors and partners to reduce poverty and other challenges among vulnerable children through targeted support and to enable youth to positively engage in their communities and transition to meaningful employment, continuing education and training opportunities.

UNICEF in Jordan has a funding shortfall of $US145.7 million to meet the needs of all vulnerable children and youth in Jordan in 2018.

* UNICEF https://www.unicef.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

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