Ten years on: Nearly 12 million displaced in Syria conflict
After a decade of unfathomable violence and human tragedy that has made Syria the defining war of the early 21st century, the fighting has tapered off but the suffering hasn't.
Ten year ago, an uprising against the ruling government erupted in Syria, inspired by the Arab Spring sweeping across the Arab world. A peaceful protest later evolved into violent protests, insurgencies and civil war, accompanied by endless bombings, terrorism, and a heavy loss of human life.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has put the death toll at nearly 400,000, including soldiers, militants and civilians. Some 22,000 children are among the dead.
The UN Refugee Agency has meanwhile registered nearly 6 million Syrians scattered in neighboring countries, only five percent of whom live in designated refugee camps. Within Syria, at least 6 million civilians are displaced.
As of mid-February, a record 12.4 million Syrians, nearly 60 percent of its population, were food-insecure, according to the UN.
The triple crisis of violence, economic misery and the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed families to the brink of despair and 90 percent of the country's children are in need of help, UNICEF also reported on Friday.
The UN has estimated that the cost of reconstruction could be as high as $250 billion – four times Syria's GDP before the war began.