“Today there exists an alarming misconception that the conflict in Syria is drawing quickly to a close – it is not. Children in parts of the country remain in as much danger as at any other time during the eight-year conflict.
“In 2018 alone, 1,106 children were killed in the fighting – the highest ever number of children killed in a single year since the start of the war. These are only the numbers that the UN has been able to verify, which means the true figures are likely much higher.
“We are particularly concerned about the situation in Idlib in northwestern Syria where an intensification of violence has reportedly killed 59 children in the past few weeks alone.
“Meanwhile, neighboring countries in the region are hosting 2.6 million Syrian refugee children who face their own challenges despite support from host governments, the UN and the international community. Many families cannot send their children to school and, with few income-earning opportunities, are turning to negative coping mechanisms – including child labor and child marriage – to get by.
“As the war enters its ninth year, UNICEF again reminds parties to the conflict and the global community that it is the country’s children who have suffered most and have the most to lose. Each day the conflict continues is another day stolen from their childhood.”