March 2015 marked four years of civil war in Syria. While many in the world have moved on, Syrians find themselves trapped in conflict, and forced to flee for their lives. The fighting has killed at least 220,000 people; and 840,000 have been injured in violence. Life expectancy has fallen by approximately 20 years.
Within the country, 7.6 million Syrians have been displaced and more than 650,000 are living in besieged communities, their majority surviving in dire conditions exacerbated by poverty. Nearly 4 million Syrians have fled their country and become refugees in neighbouring countries. Life is not easy for them either. Host countries strain to provide assistance to their own citizens in need, while also supporting new arrivals from Syria. Many women refugees have no option but to become heads of households, leaving their homes to make ends meet.
Four million women and girls of reproductive age have been affected by the crisis, including 3 million inside Syria and 1 million in countries where they have sought refuge. Nearly half a million Syrian women are currently pregnant and of those women an estimated 75,000 will require emergency obstetric care to manage a complication. Women and girls have become front row witnesses and survivors of violence, including gender-based violence and forced marriages. Syria has become home to an unprecedented tragedy.
UNFPA is urging longer-term investments to meet the needs of women and girls of reproductive age, to equip them with the skills and motivation to build a more stable future for themselves and their families, and to provide them with the minimum health and protection services they may need to continue their lives, and enhance their resilience.