A young boy who was separated from his family while fleeing Syria was found in the desert alone, attempting to cross the border into Jordan.
United Nations staff found 4-year-old Marwan holding only a plastic bag with his possessions in the middle of the desert.
Aid workers were able to reunite the boy with his family.
“We think Marwan may have got lost during the night,” Andrej Mahecic, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told The Mirror. “At the moment we don’t know anything anymore.”
The Syrian war has resulted in millions of children, like Marwan, being forced to leave the country and brave the desert.
“The journey across the desert can take one day or several weeks,” Mahecic said. “It’s very dangerous because there is still fighting going and it’s the middle of winter so it can be freezing cold at night.”
Marwan entered Jordan near the Za’atari camp, home to over 100,000 refugees on Sunday. Jordan is third in countries that have taken in the most Syrian refugees, after Lebanon and Turkey, according to ABC News.
“The Syria conflict has now been going on for three years and at the moment we are dealing with 2.4 million refugees,” Andrej said. “The important statistic is that over one million of these refugees are children.”
Andrew Harper, the UNHCR’s rep in Jordan, took the picture of Marwan that has since gone viral.
“Unfortunately in every mass refugee [crossing] to Jordan, it is the elderly, sick, pregnant and often children that fall behind the main groups,” Harper tweeted.
The refugee agency believes 425,000 kids under the age of five have been displaced, while they have identified over 8,000 children who have been separated from their families.
Source: Mirror, ABC News