Sunday 25 June 2017

Peter Power: Huge personal suffering lies behind bare statistics of Syria

Unicef goodwill ambassador Anne Doyle receives a gift from Ali (9), and right, having fun in a makeshift classroom
Unicef goodwill ambassador Anne Doyle receives a gift from Ali (9), and right, having fun in a makeshift classroom

Peter Power

In recent months, I've visited the Bekka Valley on the Syrian-Lebanese border, meeting families who have fled the horrific conflict in Syria. Spread out across more than 400 informal tented settlements, families live in inhumane conditions without running water, proper sanitation, adequate health care or formal education. They are forbidden to leave the settlements, and so are not able to work.

As the conflict in Syria approaches its fifth anniversary, more than two million Syrian children are now living as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Europe's refugee and migrant crisis has its roots in the Syrian conflict; up to 80pc of those attempting to enter Europe are Syrian. More than 100,000 children have sought asylum in Europe so far this year. Last year, 25,000 children entered the EU alone.

Behind these numbers there are stories of enormous personal suffering.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss