Imagine eight million children of Syria

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By Adrian Lancashire  with AISSA BOUKANOUN
Imagine eight million children of Syria

The winter boats keep coming to Europe, with many children on board.

My name is Ahmad. I'm nine, from Aleppo. I haven't been to school for two years.

UNICEF puts the number of Syrian children needing urgent humanitarian aid at more than eight million, driving home that there is no place safe for them in Syria.

So their parents still brave the dangers, and boatloads keep arriving in Lesbos, Greece.

The UN says that early in the summer of this year, ten percent of refugee applications for asylum in the EU were children, in October, 33 percent. Eurostat counted 214,000 of them between January and September.

In Berkasovo camp in non-EU member Serbia, at the border with member Croatia, Caritas Doctor Ramiz Momeni said: “You can see children of ten days old… [at risk of or getting] hypothermia. We don’t have a blanket to give them. We need action. I mean this… the images speak for themselves.”

UNICEF has five classifications for the vulnerable: babies and infants, handicapped children, lost children, abandoned children and unaccompanied adolescents.

The agency says it is most concerned about the two million children living in the war zones in Syria, where humanitarian aid only gets through sporadically.

Another two million children are living precariously in countries neighbouring Syria, notably in Lebanon. Many of them are not going to school. They might be able to earn a little money, but they are facing uneducated futures.

A boy says to camera: “My name is Ahmad. I’m nine, from Aleppo. I haven’t been to school for two years. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor.”