A generation of Syrian children are facing "catastrophic" psychological damage with one in four inside Syria at risk of developing a mental health disorder from witnessing traumatic events, a global children's charity said on Tuesday.
The psychological needs of children fleeing four-and-a-half years of war remain largely unmet due to lack of funding, spiraling numbers of refugees and over-stretched resources in host countries, Save the Children said in a report.
"The repercussions for the future mental health of an entire generation could be catastrophic," Ian Rodgers, country director for Save the Children in Lebanon, said in a statement.
"In addition to the obvious psychological damage caused by witnessing traumatic events and extreme violence, there are a myriad of secondary, under-funded and often over-looked, daily causes of psychological and social damage once a displaced child arrives in a new community."
Some 10 percent of children participating in Save the Children programs in the Iraqi Kurdistan region had lost at least one parent, while in Lebanon a "considerable portion" have been out of school for at least three years, the charity said.
"For children ... being out of school for months or years, dealing with the acute tension and anxiety at home, as well as separation from friends and relatives, daily discrimination, child labor, early marriage, and living in insecure, poor parts of cities or towns, has a serious and profound impact on their mental and physical health," Rodgers said.