By Currents News Staff
A decade ago, Syrians took to the streets to demand better lives.
The democracy protests spiraled into a civil war involving multiple regional and international players that left an entire generation of Syrian children knowing nothing but violence.
Now 10 years later, hundreds of thousands of people have died. Millions more have been internally displaced or have fled the country. The situation is described as a “living nightmare…” and young Syrians are scarred by the brutality of it all.
According to UNICEF, more than 5 million children have been born in Syria since the violence began in 2011 with 90 percent of them needing humanitarian assistance. The agency also reported a huge rise in levels of anxiety, distress and sleep disorders.
The United Nations estimates about half of Syria’s children have not lived a day without war and 60 percent of the entire population is at risk of hunger.
During Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis prayed that Syria not be forgotten and called the situation there as one the most serious humanitarian catastrophes of our time.
“Countless dead and wounded, millions of refugees, thousands missing, destruction, violence of all kinds and immense suffering for the entire population,” Pope Francis said.
The pontiff called for dialogue between the warring parties and for international collaboration. But for young Syrians, a decade of violence coupled with an ongoing pandemic has had a devastating impact for an entire generation.