EN | DE | FR
Donate Now

Child labor and hunger in northwest Syria

"I feel I am responsible for my siblings and my mother after losing my father seven years ago. And I feel I am also responsible for covering their expenses and basic needs."  

These are not the words of a grown adult who is trying to provide for his family. These are the words of Ahmed, a 10-year-old child from Syria who was displaced from the city of Al-Lataminah in the countryside of Hama nearly nine years ago due to bombings and military invasion.

In the region of northwest Syria, Malteser International has been working to support the thousands of people who suffer from hunger because of the high increase in food prices, including Ahmed. With families struggling to afford basic necessities, children are often pushed into the workforce at a young age to help out financially. The dire economic conditions force these children to engage in various forms of labor, including hazardous and unsafe work.

"Many meals have become a distant dream"

Ahmed works at a motorcycle maintenance shop near his refugee camp to secure a living and buy medicine for his siblings. His brother and sister suffer from stiffness in their lower back muscles, which causes them additional health disorders and pain during daily movements.

"Many meals have become a distant dream for us. We have not tasted meat since last year’s Eid. Sometimes we go to bed early because there is nothing to eat" says Ahmed’s mother Hafiza, who lives in the Blue Camp in the city of Maarat Misrin, north of Idlib, together with her three children.

According to UNOCHA, about 3.3 million people in northwest Syria – 73% of the region’s population - face severe food insecurity (as of April 2023). The situation has drastically escalated following the catastrophic earthquake on February 6 this year. Hunger and undernutrition in children are particularly high.

Together with our Syrian partner organization Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHFAD), Malteser International provided essential items to Ahmed and his family, such as food baskets, winter blankets and mattresses, nylon tent insulation, and baby care products. However, more aid is urgently needed to ensure that food and nutrition security in Syria will not be left behind.

June 2023

Ahmed's story in pictures

Help the people in need in Syria - donate now!
Donate now