As the Syrian crisis drags on, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by suffering and destruction. 13,5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4,9 million trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. Over half of the population has been displaced since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, with the majority of people forced to flee several times (in some cases as many as 25 times) due to shifting front lines and difficulties in accessing cash, food and lack of shelters, water and sanitation facilities.
Children and youth comprise more than half of the displaced, and half of those in need of humanitarian assistance. At the start of military operations to gain control of Ar-Raqqa city, the situation has further deteriorated. By then, an estimated 50,00-100,000 people were still trapped inside the city.
Parties to the conflict act with impunity, committing violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws, frequently denying the access of humanitarian assistance in certain areas, or blocking urgent medical evacuations. Civilians living in locations, urgently in need of humanitarian assistance are denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement and access to adequate food, water and health care.