Syria Crisis: 8 years on, the suffering must end

World Vision is urging world leaders attending the Brussels Conference on Syria this week to ensure that the safety and well-being of children and civilians remains the main priority.

Global leaders will meet in Brussels this week (12-14 March) for the third EU summit on the Syria crisis. The conference comes just ahead of the 8th anniversary of the war on March 15.

“Syrian children – both those still in the country and those who have fled – believe the world has forgotten them. Grave violations against children continue to occur every single day. It’s a horrifying reality that has gone on for far too long,” said Marc-Andre Hensel, World Vision’s Syria Response Director.

Documented grave violations against Syrian children include recruitment into conflict, killing and maiming, abduction and sexual violence. Thousands have been killed through the indiscriminate use of force. Hospitals and schools have been attacked and children, their families and communities have been denied access to the help they need.

“The Brussels Conference is an opportunity to show that the world does care. Enough is enough. But there must be concrete outcomes which make a real difference to the lives of children suffering incomprehensively,” added Hensel.

Israa Al Hassan (26), is part of the EU funded Youth Resolve program led by World Vision with other NGOs. Youth Resolve supports young people affected by the Syria Crisis across the region. Israa fled with her family when their home in Syria was attacked, soon after the war started. She’s since been able to gain a degree and now helps refugees integrate into their new community. She still remembers her distressful arrival “no house, no education, no work, and even no acceptance from the people around us, just because we are Syrian,” she said.

Israa will come to Brussels, along with four other young people affected by the crisis, to meet with political leaders and share her experiences and hopes for the future.

World Vision is calling on world leaders to hold all parties to the conflict in Syria accountable for violations of children’s rights, and to protect children both in Syria and in host countries.


For more information, spokespeople, pictures, case studies and interviews, please contact:

Ludovic Wahis, Policy and Communications Manager at World Vision EU - Mobile: +32 (0) 472 50 68 72 -

Notes to Editors:

  • Now entering its 9th year, the conflict in Syria is the largest humanitarian crisis in decades. Over 6 million Syrians are displaced within Syria and over 5.6 million have been forced to seek refuge outside of Syria
  • In Syria alone, over 11.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 5 million of whom are children.
  • World Vision’s response to the crisis in Syria includes programming in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. In 2018, World Vision provided assistance to 1,229,790 people (including 695,883 children).
  • Youth Resolve is an EU funded program run by 5 Non-Governmental Organisations: World Vision, CAFOD, Questscope, Generations for Peace and Islamic Relief to support young people in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. More information here:

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation conducting relief, development and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.