March 15 marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. Friends of the Earth International is joining #WithSyria, and with millions of people and other organizations across the globe, to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the millions of innocent children and families now under siege. The world can no longer remain indifferent to their plight.

March 15 marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. Friends of the Earth International is joining #WithSyria, and with millions of people and other organizations across the globe, to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the millions of innocent children and families now under siege. The world can no longer remain indifferent to their plight.

Find out what you can do to show your solidarity with Syria

Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our day, and the situation is deteriorating as violence intensifies and fighting continues throughout the country.  More than 9 million Syrians are in urgent need of assistance, two-thirds of them inside Syria, displaced from their homes, schools, jobs, and communities. In besieged towns, families are experiencing hunger and severe levels of malnutrition. 300 people flee their homes in fear every hour. More than 100,000 people have been killed.  Lack of protection marks the conflict, with troubling reports of abuse against women and children, including rape.

According to the UN, the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance has risen dramatically to 9.3 million people, up from 6.8 million in June 2013. Similarly, the number of people displaced within the country has increased from 4.25 million to more than 6.5 million. Every day of violence adds to this number, and leaves increasing numbers of civilians in need in inaccessible areas under siege. Three million are trapped in hard-to-reach or besieged areas, with an estimated 250,000 people cut off from assistance for more than a year.

The overall number of refugees fleeing Syria rose more than four-fold during 2013, and has now reached more than 2.5 million.  This number is continuing to rise as hostilities intensify inside the country. Countries bordering Syria are approaching a dangerous saturation point – particularly Lebanon, where there are more than 900,000 refugees. These neighboring countries need urgent support to continue keeping borders open and assisting refugees.

The nature and magnitude of the humanitarian needs are critical in all parts of the country. The focus is on life-saving activities – treating and evacuating the wounded, as well as water, sanitation, health, shelter, and food.

About half of those suffering are children. If nothing is done, we will lose an entire generation of young people to this war. It is increasingly likely that we will see half of the pre-civil war Syrian population of 22 million internally displaced or living as refugees (it’s now 9.3 million).