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U.N. says 5.5 million Syrian children affected by war

FILE - In this Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo, Syrian refugee Um Raad, 30, from Daraa, holds her 6 day-old son, Abdullah, at the Moroccan field hospital in Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border, in Mafraq, Jordan. Pregnant Syrian women say they never imagined giving birth outside their beloved homeland and inside a tough desert refugee camp across the border in Jordan where they battle heat, dust and to get enough drinking water. An international charity organization Save Children has warned Monday, March 10, 2014 of a health care disaster in Syria with newborns dying in hospital incubators during power cuts and children having their limbs amputated for lack of alternative treatment. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File) BEI101

Associated Press

FILE - In this Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo, Syrian refugee Um Raad, 30, from Daraa, holds her 6 day-old son, Abdullah, at the Moroccan field hospital in Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border, in Mafraq, Jordan. Pregnant Syrian women say they never imagined giving birth outside their beloved homeland and inside a tough desert refugee camp across the border in Jordan where they battle heat, dust and to get enough drinking water. An international charity organization Save Children has warned Monday, March 10, 2014 of a health care disaster in Syria with newborns dying in hospital incubators during power cuts and children having their limbs amputated for lack of alternative treatment. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File) BEI101

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The number of Syrian children affected by the civil war in their homeland has doubled in the past year to at least 5.5 million — more than half the country's children — with devastating effects on the health, education and psychological well-being of an entire generation, the United Nations children's agency said Tuesday.

The conflict, which enters its fourth year this month, has unleashed massive suffering across all segments of Syrian society, but the impact on children has been especially acute, according to a new report by UNICEF. Malnutrition and illness have stunted their growth; a lack of learning opportunities has derailed their education; and the bloody trauma of war has left deep psychological scars.

"After three years of conflict and turmoil, Syria is now one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child," the agency said. "In their thousands, children have lost lives and limbs, along with virtually every aspect of their childhood. They have lost classrooms and teachers, brothers and sisters, friends, caregivers, homes and stability."

UNICEF said that more than 10,000 children have been killed in the violence, which would translate into the highest casualty rates recorded in any recent conflict in the region.

U.N. says 5.5 million Syrian children affected by war 03/11/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:56pm]
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