After over five years of violent conflict in Syria, what is left of the country is heartbreakingly unrecognisable, and the destruction is only set to worsen. With 2011 being the year of Arab spring, where peaceful anti-government protests turned into a full-scale civil war, most Syrian children do not even remember a time of peace. To this day, a quarter of a million people are dead as a result of how prolonged the proxy war has become: Intervention of foreign powers has only made it bloodier. Approximately half of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million have been killed or forced to flee their homes, and now their refugee population is the largest in the world.
But have all of these refugees been finding refuge? Many opt for travelling to Syria’s neighboring countries, with Lebanon harboring a staggering 1 million of them. Others are risking their lives to travel to Europe in hopes of finding acceptance there, and not all of them make it across alive. However, most have barely started a journey to real freedom: According to UN estimation, 6.6 million refugees are internally displaced in Syria, especially in cities, where there is stronger humanitarian support than the countryside. As of February 2016, the government only holds 40% of Syria, the rest belonging to other factions - for example, ISIL - that are involved in the war.
According to a review of the political science on the duration of civil wars, Syria's conflict will most likely last through 2020. In only 2016 the country’s unemployment rate sits at its all-time high at 50%, and will continue to creep up; Most Syrians have been plunged into extreme poverty. An estimate of £5 billion is thought to be needed to help the 13 million in need of support, yet the exponential rise of refugees means the figure will inevitably increase, making it even less possible to achieve. With this in mind, it seems that Syria’s future is a dark one.