465,000 Syrians have been killed since reports first emerged of protests in Damascus, Syria, on March 15, 2011. This statistic demonstrates the shocking scale of the conflict in Syria.
As we enter its seventh year, it's more important than ever to remember that behind each statistic, there are thousands of stories we may never hear. Behind each fact, there are thousands of faces we may never see. Each one belonging to a person whose life has been changed forever by conflict and war.
Below are six facts about the conflict, and six stories of people who have been affected.
1: Over three million Syrian children are out of school
Bilal*, 13, is one of 1,500 Syrian children working on the streets of Lebanon. Today, he is back to school and learning again.
2: Over eleven million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes – more than half the pre-war population
6.6 million are displaced within Syria, and 4.4 million have left the country. A Syrian mother explains why she left her home, and what she left behind:
“I love my home, I love my house. I love everything about my country, I love my country. I love my neighbours, I love my people…I hate the war.”
3. Three in every four Syrian refugees in the region are women and children
Shaimah goes to one of the safe spaces for women and adolescent girls in Greece, where she spends time with friends and continues her education.
“I just want to complete my education and live peacefully, and not hear the sound of bombs anymore.”
4: Four out of five Syrian refugee children have experienced a death in the family
At the age of 10, Nada* was forced to flee her home in Hama after watching her grandfather and neighbours lose their lives during a bombing campaign. Now 13, she attends IRC activities to help her cope with the trauma.
5: 90% of Syrian refugees in the region are not in camps
Refugees need not just more, but better aid. Better aid has to be based on the reality of the lives of refugees today – like the fact that the majority of Syrian refugees live in urban areas, not in camps. Cash relief can help refugees, like Ajel and his family, to build their lives again.
6: Less than 19,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in EU countries since 2011. This is about one in every 250 Syrian refugees.
Zakharia, 20, lived in Syria his whole life. When his school was destroyed, he fled the country and was resettled to Germany.
In Syria I graduated from University with a degree in physiotherapy and I want to continue working in this field in Germany.