NGOs address child needs in Turkey-Syria
Urgent call for child protection after Turkey-Syria earthquakes
World Vision UK, in partnership with Plan International, Action Aid, Action for Humanity, UNICEF, and War Child, has written a letter to the UK Government to draw attention to the urgent protection needs of children and vulnerable individuals in the aftermath of the recent Turkey-Syria earthquakes.
The letter stresses the critical need for mental health support in the wake of the disaster and highlights the specific needs of those affected in north-western Syria. The coalition of charities is urging the UK Government to take action and prioritise the needs of vulnerable children.
Concerns about child protection
"As UK CEOs of leading child-focused humanitarian organisations responding to the Turkey-Syria earthquake, we are gravely concerned by the child protection risks that have been exacerbated by this crisis. The effects upon those in north-western Syria are especially grave due to the lack of resilience, services, infrastructure and access due to the conflict which enters its 13th year this week."
Many children lost their homes
"World Vision’s initial assessment found that 94% of surveyed people’s homes and shelters have been affected by the earthquake, while 82% were living in collective shelters as a result of damage. 42% of respondents reported that education facilities had been damaged in their neighbourhoods, and 84% said the earthquake had impacted their children’s access to education."
85% Syrian families unable to meet basic needs
"In Syria specifically, children have faced bombardment, displacement, bereavement, destruction, illness and hunger for much of the past 12 years. 85% of families across Syria were already unable to meet their basic needs. This earthquake is likely to worsen their economic plight leading to negative coping mechanisms, with reports of sexual harassment in collective shelters already emerging."
Urgent action is needed
"Our organisations and Syrian partners reached millions of children in north-western Syria in 2022 and are well placed to partner with the UK government and other actors to meet these protection needs. We applaud the UK public’s generosity and are grateful for the UK Government’s pledge of £25 million to support the humanitarian response."
But more help is needed to address child protection risks in north-western Syria and provide long-term funding for mental health and psycho-social support services such as Women and Girls' Safe Spaces, Gender Based Violence prevention teams, and Child and Youth-Friendly Spaces.
Read the full letter to find out more about the child protections risks and needs in the aftermath of Turkey-Syria earthquakes.