Chris Wattie / Reuters
Continued violence and insecurity in Syria have driven 6.8 million people from their homes. Amid the severe deprivation and uncertainty that come with displacement, mothers like Nada, 28, draw on whatever support they can get to meet their children's basic needs while aspiring for a better future.
Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
If only it were so easy. The leader of a war-torn Middle Eastern country commits an atrocity; the West removes him. Problem solved. At least, that's the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to see the future in Syria. The only problem is that Trudeau has forgotten the many other players who have a stake in what happens in Syria.
Ammar Abdullah / Reuters
We have a problem, rather, a preoccupation with power. It is human nature to want and crave it, but the ways we get it and keep it are usually inhumane. The simplest, most base feeling of power is that of physical might. The ability to defeat one's foes in combat.
I write this with the crippling cries of a small child playing in my earphones, nerve gas choking him literally to death, his desperate rasping gasps for breath ringing in my ears and unnerving my insides, his agony repeating over and over in the background as a foaming espresso machine steams beside me at the counter.
After six years of violence, Syrian children need us to believe in them more than ever. We must to ensure that an entire generation of children with dreams for the future doesn't get lost in the rubble. I have been allowed to grow up in peace into a future that allows me to work for my dreams. Syrian children deserve the same.
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On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, World Vision has released a report, comparing the fears and dreams of Syrian children with those from other countries. We wanted to get a better understanding of how violence might affect a child's view of the world.
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Challenges in access in several parts of Syria stand in the way of assessing the full scale of children's suffering and of urgently getting humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable girls and boys. Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, children are dying in silence often from diseases that can otherwise be easily prevented. Access to medical care, lifesaving supplies and other basic services remains difficult.
It is hard to not be inspired when the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that "to those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength." It is time for Canada to lead by example yet again.
From Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are affected by relentless conflicts and displacement crises, as well as devastation wrought by natural disasters.
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An estimated 5.5 million people, including two million children, have been cut off from running water for over three weeks in Damascus and its surroundings, the longest cut Syria's capital has seen. Intense fighting damaged the water infrastructure for the two main drinking water sources for Damascus.
The trouble is, darkness doesn't go away during the Holidays. If anything, it can feel deeper, more acute. Perhaps that's why we work so hard to brighten things up with lights and candles, and reach out to those who are in need. Sometimes, a little extra care can make all the difference to a friend or neighbor in need.
Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
"The winter months are even more brutal for children inside Syria. I saw children who fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back. After the horrors they have lived through, now they have to cope with the piercing cold."
If there is anyone to blame, it is -- and can only be -- the governments implicated in this internationalized conflict. Those who support the armed groups, both militarily and logistically, and those who oppose the international justice system investigating the atrocities and crimes perpetrated in this conflict are all to blame.
UNICEF Syrian Arab Republic
For children living in one of the deadliest places on earth, this lack of safe water is a continuous threat to their survival. Alongside 100,000 children living in east Aleppo, nine-year-old Judy has been robbed of her childhood. Instead of going to school or playing with friends, her life is full of constant stress.
Almost all of the children who study at this school have fled violence in northern rural Hama over a year ago, and sought refuge in caves and tents that are spread along this rural area. Last year, some of the children living in rural Idleb had an opportunity to catch up on the education they have missed.
It is now up to us to raise our voices and affirm the global community's intervention. The world needs to break the diplomatic gridlock and achieve relief for those under fire. At this point it's not about political gain or economics. It's about humanity.
Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
Last week's events in Syria speak to a conflict transformed into a humanitarian crisis that has worsened with time. In eastern Aleppo alone, at least 96 children have been killed and 223 others injured. Such circumstances make it increasingly harder to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid.
Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters
Driving towards Madaya in a convoy that snaked along the Damascus highway for hundreds of metres, a huge knot formed in the pit of my stomach. Not knowing what we would find there, and remembering the harrowing images of emaciated children pleading with their eyes for some respite from this siege, it was hard not to be worried.
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In the five years since the uprising-turned-civil-war, the Syrian conflict has become the "biggest humanitarian crisis of our time." The United Nations estimates more than 250,000 people have been killed (this figure is widely disputed among various international organizations), while another 6.6. million have been internally displaced.
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"Politicians said after the death of my family: never again!''
Rodi Said / Reuters
Today, the world remembers a child who never had the chance to seize life at all. His name was Alan Kurdi. You'll recall him as the little Syrian boy who, was found dead on a beach in Turkey the morning of September 2, 2015. He had stepped into a crowded inflatable boat with his family the night before, in a desperate attempt to each Europe in safety. Alan's death rocked people everywhere -- from families in their homes to leaders in the halls of power. When children like Alan reached out for help, we didn't reach back.
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The relentless bombardment on innocent civilians continue with casualties, death and destruction occurring every second. But this is just an ordinary day in Aleppo where simply every place is a target -- mosques, morgues, markets, bakeries, hospitals, ambulances, fire trucks, with absolutely nowhere safe for people to go.
After living amid the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey for a year after graduating from the University of Toronto, Nouhaila Chelkhaoui knew she wanted to help make a positive impact on the lives of newcomers. Her return to Toronto gave her the opportunity to do just that, as she joined U of T startup iamsick's newest initiative, which helps refugees navigate Canada's complex healthcare system.
Vadim Ghirda/AP via Canadian Press
Collapsed buildings are everywhere. Families huddle in the ruins, while aid groups struggle to keep up with people's basic needs for food, water, medical care and shelter. I can see humanitarian aid is helping, but it is never a long-term solution. So much more is needed.
Brett Tarver/World Vision
The events in her life over the past 18 months have left her in little mood for fun.
Juan Camilo Bernal Photographer via Getty Images
This week marks five years since the start of the Syrian conflict. The war has inflicted a devastating toll on millions of desperate Syrian families, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that has rippled throughout the region. More than 4.3 million Syrian refugees are now trying to piece their lives back together in neighbouring countries. That's where the No Lost Generation project comes in. It's a global initiative, supported by donor countries and non-governmental organizations, to help save the future of displaced Syrian children. The goal is to provide safe education and psycho-social support which includes protecting children from exploitation, abuse and violence.
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Home is a tent divided in two for Um Yasmine and her five children. The Syrian widow fled to a dusty field in Lebanon three years ago, as war piled up bodies around her beloved city of Homs. Now, a bedsheet hangs down the middle of her crowded tent shared with another refugee family. Um Yasmine is so tired of this makeshift life. She just wants to go home.
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"Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." This verse, objectively radical given its relevance today, is particularly applicable in the context of terrorist violence, where strangers are willing to viciously stab, shoot and murder total strangers. One need only think back to the Paris attacks and ask: how can such hatred be justified?
Numbers coming from the government and political operatives should give pause to any observer. Why? Because rarely do either have the expertise or data sources to make reliable predictions. When they do, other factors come into play that skews the totals. The usual culprit is misguided optimism to demonstrate competence or distinguish from the opposition.
Despite there being no shortage of reasons for despair, we must start this new year with hope. There is no doubt that the situation in Syria is dire. But just as with Ebola, we can mitigate the dreadful human toll if we retain our instincts for empathy, and remain steadfast in our defence of fundamental humanitarian principles.
Facebook users have donated everything from winter boots to AppleTV.
There are other ways Canada can contribute, the PM said.