The conflict within Syria, which started in 2011, has been going on for just over 10 years and has caused major impacts on the country as a whole and its future development. They have many short-term impacts but will also face many long-term impacts such as education and the long-term impact this will have on the younger generation. Hospitals and the healthcare system are also struggling greatly due to underfunding which has led to many excess deaths and this has resulted in a lower life expectancy. Infrastructure has also felt the effect of the war as many buildings and houses collapse leaving people on the streets, where they are vulnerable to diseases and infections spreading rapidly. This essay will explore to what extent and how the outgoing conflict within Syria has had an impact on the country’s development.
The conflict has not just affected the overall development of the country, but also education and the younger generation living within Syria. There is evidence that shows just how severe this impact could be on the UNICEF website, where they stated, “The crisis in Syria has taken a devastating toll on education leaving over 7,000 schools damaged or destroyed and 2 million children out school”. The Syrian conflict has had and continues to have an extremely large impact on education and the younger generation. A reported 8.4 million children are affected by the conflict in some way- this is more than 80% of the children in Syria. Almost 100% of the younger generation were accessing and using the education system before the war broke out, so this is a drastic drop that the Syrian war has caused- 100% down to 20%. Many children can’t go to school due to the physical building being severely damaged or destroyed, but others can’t due to safety concerns, schools being used for refugee shelters or military bases and due to fleeing and so not having access to education. Therefore, the Syrian conflict has had an extremely large effect on education and the younger generation.
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The conflict going on in Syria has also severely affected infrastructure which has then resulted in grave economic loss. The Borgen Project, which helps countries experiencing conflict to repair infrastructure, wrote on their page in 2018, “The prolonged crisis has resulted in the destruction of infrastructure systems including the provision of water, electricity and sanitation”. The Syrian conflict has caused a great amount of damage to infrastructure which then results in the spreading of diseases and viruses, loss of hospitals and health care facilities and people ending up on streets, in need of shelter, due to the destruction of their houses. The outgoing war in Syria has already cost them over 226 billion dollars in GDP. This is around four times the amount of the overall Syrian GDP. Experts have also estimated that 27% of Syria’s housing stock and half of the country’s medical and educational facilities have been damaged beyond repair or destroyed. Therefore, infrastructure, or lack of, has and will continue to have for the foreseeable future, a huge impact on Syria’s development.
The Syrian conflict has also taken a huge toll on healthcare and the healthcare facilities within Syria. The World Health Organization wrote on their page in 2019, “8 years of conflict has taken a huge toll on a health system that was once among the best in the region’. The conflict in Syria has not only impacted education and infrastructure, but also healthcare and their demand of supplies. Many hospitals and doctors’ surgeries have been destroyed due to the use of weapons or forced to shut down because of underfunding. This has led to many people dying unnecessarily due to lack of access to healthcare and supplies or not being able to get the right treatment or medication. The life expectancy in Syria has dropped by over 20 years since the outbreak of the war. Before the conflict, the life expectancy within Syria and surrounding areas used to be around 79.5 years, however it has now dropped to just 55.7 years. It has the lowest life expectancy of the Middle East region with Afghanistan next. Therefore, healthcare and the lack of supplies, has and will unfortunately continue to have a large, long-term impact on Syria’s development.
In conclusion, the Syrian war has and will continue to have a great impact on the country’s development as well as surrounding countries. The future for Syria will be a very different one as the younger generation will not have been educated or been put through the education system as they should have, and the healthcare facilities will take ‘many generations’ as experts have said to be back to where it was before the conflict commenced. Infrastructure and the impact this has had on economic loss will take an extremely long time to all be rebuilt and engineered. Therefore, the impact that the conflict has had on Syria’s development is a very great one that will take a long time to get back.