600,000 children orphaned by Syrian crisis, Turkish aid agency İHH says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Syrian refugees children collect water at the Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria May 30, 2016 (Reuters Photo)
Syrian refugees children collect water at the Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria May 30, 2016 (Reuters Photo)

The five year-long Syrian crisis, which displaced millions of civilians and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, has left at least 600,000 children orphaned, according to research by a Turkish non-governmental organization.

Adem Kalaycı, who is the chief of the orphans' unit at the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms (IHH), -a leading Turkish aid organization which actively provides support for the needy, including the Syrian refugees in Turkey, - told the Anadolu Agency that there are at least 600,000 children in Syria who were orphaned by the ongoing crisis. He noted that around 50,000 of these children reside in Turkey, with a majority of them living in border provinces.

In Hatay alone, there are 8,000 Syrian orphans according to estimations.

Kalaycı said that the İHH has special sections for orphans in refugee camps in some parts of Syria, where 5,225 children reside.

Many aid organizations in Turkey try to meet the needs of women and children, the most affected subjects of the Syrian crisis, with projects aiming to provide shelter, food, rehabilitation and other needs.

The İHH alone sponsors 7,000 orphans, and has rehabilitated at least 1,000 children.

An arts gallery was established in Hatay's Reyhanlı district, which is one of the main hosts of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Here, women and children traumatized by the conflict in Syria receive psychological assistance, education, and participate in extracurricular activities.

Around 500 Syrian people first entered Turkey from Hatay's Yayladağı district on April 29, 2011.

The Syrian crisis has internally displaced over seven million people, and forced over four million people out of the country.

There are about three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Contributing nearly $9 billion to humanitarian aid during the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey's aid for Syrian refugees has been 20 times more than the aid received from international organizations, according to the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

The entire Syrian refugee population in Turkey now outnumbers the population of all provinces except Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa. A relatively small portion of Syrian refugees in Turkey are in refugee camps while 2,450,000 of them are living in cities.

According to The Syrian Network for Human Rights, 14,629 children were killed in Assad regime attacks against opposition forces since March 2011.

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