As part of Happy Hippie’s commitment to supporting vulnerable populations around the world, we will be funding programs to help address the needs of children, youth and families affected by the conflict in Syria, one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time.
Syria has suffered five years of armed conflict, which began as pro-democracy protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war. Since then, more than 470,000 Syrians have died and nearly 13.5 million Syrians (more than 50% of the country’s pre-conflict population of 22 million) have been displaced from their homes. Of Syrians who have been displaced, at least 6.6 million people are within Syria and nearly 5 million live as refugees in neighboring countries.
Here are some of the key issues that displaced Syrians are facing:
- Decreased access to healthcare, leading to increased disease and unattended injuries: More than 600 medical professionals have been killed in Syria, 15,000 doctors have fled the violence, and half the country’s public hospitals are destroyed.
- Food insecurity: Years of conflict have devastated Syria’s agriculture sector and more than 9 million people within the country are now classified as food insecure.
- Limited access to education: More than 40% of Syria’s school-age children are not attending school due to destruction and occupation of Syrian schools.
- Increased poverty: Unemployment is at 50%, and four out of five Syrians live in poverty.