After protests led by Syrian civilians in March of 2011 who called for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad were violently suppressed by the government, conflicts within the country began to rise. Rising tensions ultimately cultivated in what would come to be known as the Syrian Civil War, pitting multiple factions fighting for control and political authority. As violence within the war gradually subsides, the domino effect on the people within Syria and the negative consequences they endure is ultimately undeniable.
Following eleven years of conflict, families have been forced to flee their homes as they are continually displaced and left with no place to reside. Often, the documentation that secures one’s identity is lost during this process, resulting in increasing levels of difficulty in moving within the country, as well as seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Syrians are ultimately left with the only option to reside in refugee camps where conditions cause greater concern for the health of the refugees. Disease run rampant throughout these camps as conditions are ultimately exacerbated by the climate in Syria. As temperatures inside the tents can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit while temperatures outside reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The camps often bear a shortage of resources as refugees are unable to access clean water, food, and sanitary toilets.
It is estimated that 14.6 million people need humanitarian assistance for a total population of 18 million. Local infrastructure including water, sanitation, hygiene, and healthcare has continued to deteriorate as just over 50 percent of hospitals are functioning following attacks on these facilities. The persistent violence throughout the war has destroyed numerous facilities including hospitals decreasing opportunities within the country to access basic necessities.
Moreover, the damages caused by the war are disproportionately affecting women and girls throughout Syria. 7.3 million females in Syrian have declared that they require sexual and reproductive health including maternal care as the rate of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth continues to increase. Gender-based violence has caused an even greater worry for women seeking refuge from the war as they report instances of sexual and domestic violence at rates greater than before. Many women report that their husbands begin to resort to violence as the external conflict carries a psychological burden within the home. Rising inflation in the country has resulted in many civilians not being able to afford the prevailing market prices of necessary goods including food, causing significant damage to single female-headed households without large sources of income.
Syrians are not only looking for protection from the violence inherent in the war but also from the damaging consequences that result from such violence. As factions of the war continue to fight over control and political power, it ultimately places civilians at the center of the danger as their basic human and natural rights are being stripped away.