October has been the worst month. Photo courtesy: Save the Children
By Amanda Wakesho
Over the past months, 700,000 more children are facing hunger in Syria because of the country’s badly-damaged economy, violence and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions according to a recent report by Save the Children.
UN data shows the number of confirmed cases of the virus has increased 20-fold between the second week of September and mid-October.
At least 43 children have been killed and another 84 injured in North West Syria since the start of a ceasefire in March 2020, according to data analysis by Save the Children.
A ceasefire between the warring parties was agreed in March, but data analysed by Save the Children shows that in the northwest of the country frequent violence has taken place, devastating the lives of children and their families, homes, hospitals and schools have all been hit.
October was the worst month by far, accounting for a quarter of the total number of casualties, with 27 children killed or injured.
The numbers come as the security situation deteriorates across Idlib, Aleppo and Hama in North West Syria, with reports of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), casualties, bombardments and artillery shelling across regions.
Earlier this month, four children were killed during intense shelling over several villages in Idlib and across the North West, September and October saw some 45 incidents of violence against civilians.
Sonia Khush, Save the Children Syria Response Director, said:
“Despite the ceasefire in March, the conflict in Syria continues to kill children and their families across the country. These numbers are a grave reminder that children bear the brunt of this war. Even in times without major military escalation, they are being killed and maimed.
“Children in North West Syria live in constant danger. They have to flee their homes because of the conflict, whilst at the same time seeking protection from the deadly coronavirus pandemic. They go to sleep hungry as their families cannot find enough food” She added.
Since the ceasefire began, 273 civilians have been killed and 875 injured in the three northwestern provinces of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo. This is an average of 143 casualties per month.