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Ten years of suffering for the Syrian people

15 March 2021

Syrian refugees

Ten years on, the Syrian civil war is showing no signs of abating and is causing unimaginable suffering. After a decade of war and displacement, Syrian families are now also having to deal with the coronavirus. Families in refugee camps are at particular risk due to the lack of safe water and the ability to social distance.  

For each year of the conflict, we present a statistic that illustrates the devastation caused to the people of Syria.

  1. The equivalent of more than twice the population of Scotland has fled their homes as a result of the Syrian war.

  2. Though Syria accounts for less than one percent of the world’s population, its people make up nearly one third of refugees worldwide.

  3. A record 79.5 million people worldwide have been displaced by war, persecution and violence – the highest on record.

  4. Four out of five Syrian refugees are children.

  5. Almost the entire population of Syria lives in poverty, with about 70% lacking access to clean drinking water.

  6. Between 2011 and the end of 2014, the UN Secretary General reported 8,428 attacks on schools in 25 countries, with more than half of these (52%) reported to have taken place in Syria.


  7. Eight out of ten children in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance.

  8. Three in ten Syrian children under the age of 5 years have not received routine vaccination and preventable diseases such as polio are on the rise, which will have huge repercussions for the future.

  9. One in five Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan has a disability and a large number of children have also been left disabled as a result of the conflict.

  10. Before the Syrian conflict, 94% of school-aged children were enrolled in education. Half of all Syrian children today are missing out on an education.