Media Advisory: Press conference: seven years of war on children in Syria - Disabled Lives: Enabled Futures

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 11 Mar 2018

Who: Bassil (17), Syrian refugee in Lebanon who was paralyzed in the war

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Chief of Communications, Middle East and North Africa

When: 12 March, 2018, 11:00 AM

Where: Beit Beirut Museum, Independence Street, Elias Sarkis Avenue, Sodeco, Beirut, Lebanon

Why: Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa will explain how the seven-year long war in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on each and every child in Syria and in refugee host countries. The effects of the crisis have reverberated throughout the country, the region and the globe. Destruction, violence, displacement and death continue to tear apart every aspect of children’s lives: their schools, their homes, their playgrounds and their neighbourhoods.

The use of explosive weapons and indiscriminate attacks in densely populated urban areas have caused widespread destruction and limited people’s access to vital medical services including psychosocial support. These factors and the overall impact of a seven-year war, family separations and displacement, have left scores of children with lifelong disabilities, both physical and mental.

Bassil (17), was paralyzed by due to violence when he was out on a stroll with his friends near their home in Homs, Syria. He now lives in Lebanon with his mother. Bassil will share the war permanently changed his life and how his determination and dedicated support from caregivers have helped him overcome his disability.


An estimated 3.3 million children inside Syria are exposed to explosive hazards including landmines, unexploded ordinance and improvised explosive devices.

Over 1.5 million people are now living with permanent, war related disabilities, including 86,000 people whose injuries have led to amputations.

80 per cent of injuries among Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan were sustained as a direct consequence of the war.

Lack of access to proper medical and psychological care has prolonged or worsened disabling injuries among children.

For further information and interview requests, please contact:

Juliette Touma,, +962-79-867-4628 Tamara Kummer,, +962 797 588 550 Blanche Baz,, +961 76932666

The press conference will be live-streamed here