Meet the Press   |  September 01, 2013

Ann Curry reports from the field

NBC's Ann Curry visits Meet the Press to share her experiences in Syria.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> here now, "images to remember" by nbc's ann curry from her reporting on the syrian refugee crisis.

>> the images you just saw were from our very own ann curry . she just returned from a syrian refugee camp in jordan. nearly 2 million syrians have sought refuge in these camps and nearly 1 million are children. the u.n. has called the conflict in syria the worst humanitarian crisis in 20 years. ann, great to see you again.

>> great to see you, david .

>> the story of that last image, that little boy in that refugee camp , his story got to you.

>> his name is abraham, 10 years old, born with a birth defect. his mother said he was robust and walking, healthy, happy before the war. now having seen his father killed and now in that refugee camp in jordan, he's lost nearly a fourth of his body weight, david . he's not walking. he can barely eat because the water is so bad. kids are complaining about their stomachs hurting and not being able to eat. he is one of a million children who are refugees from this war, and they are the majority of this war. in fact, the true face of the syrian war refugee is not only a child, it's a child under the age of 11.

>> so what happens to them? because things are not -- they're going to get worse before they get better.

>> well, it's a very difficult scenario because on top of everything else, david , they are traumatized. many of them are morning people who have been lost. their family members have been killed in the war. one little boy , 7 years old, talked to me about how the fighting is as close as i am to you, how he was crawling on his belly to escape the war, that he was scraping up his knees, that he had witnessed himself seeing his best friends cut down, sliced by. he said he described -- very descriptive words and words i probably shouldn't say op a broadcast. nevertheless, he experienced them at the age of 7, witnessing his friends killed in this way. the girls were outside playing house. the boys were outside playing cars when a shell fell and exploded. these children and only about 20% of them have had any kind of psychotherapy, emotional help. that means 80% of these children are having to deal with their emotion os-what they witnessed on their own. not a tragedy just for now, and they're suffering now, but the head of hgr is raising the specter we may be looking at a lost generation because of what these children are enduring noop you talk about the conditions of the camp. what is it like there for children and adults? we know now your reporting and others are saying people are trying to leave the refugee camps . where are they trying to go?

>> some of the refugees are leaving to go back into syria because some have said we'd rather deal with the shelling in syria ya than deal with the food insecurity , the water insecurity, the really tough, tough, some might even say brutal conditions. the zatari refugee camp is in a desert constantly hit by sandstorms. there's also the threat of insecurity because rebels are using it as a staging area. they're also going into these camps and finding young people who are so angry at what's happened, young teenagers, even children who are so angry about what's happened, pick them up and take them back into syria to fight.

>> you know, we spent the entire hour talking about u.s. military might and the international implications. among the kids that you're talking to, do they have any sense that the united states is prepared or is willing or is able to protect them?

>> no. that's exactly what they need is protection. i think that to a person the children and the dulls will say, you know, whatever you're going to do regarding attacking or not attacking assad's government, we need protection. and what they talk about is a need for, you know -- the children don't say this but the adults talk about the need for a buffer zone or a no-fly zone. the truth is the world has not responded to the needs of these children and the needs of these refugees to the degree they require help.

>> ann curry , your reporting so compelling. thanks so much. great to see you.

>> thank you.

>> appreciate it very much. that