The 51-year-old made the journey to Domiz camp in the north of the country – designed for 15,000 and now crammed with 45,000 people – with Unicef, one of the agencies operating in the region. He met children and their families who have fled Syria for Iraq, where summer temperatures are now hitting 45C (113F).
The number of people entering the country has tripled over the past six months and it is likely to double again by the end of the year to 350,000, Unicef said.
Izzard, who has just become an ambassador for the organisation, said: “I’ve heard refugee children in Iraq tell how they fled horrific violence and how they lost loved ones, their homes and their schools. They arrived here with only their clothes on their back.”
Unicef says families are desperately short of basic supplies such as clean water.
Izzard met one mother, Dala, who fled Syria for Iraq with her two-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, for fear of their safety.
He said: “These children have experienced things that no child should – and now they are being forced to struggle as refugees.”
Among the children he met was 10-year-old Muhammed, who was driven from Damascus by fighting and lived on the streets with his mother, brother and two sisters before fleeing to Iraq.
Text the word DONATE to 70099 to give £5 to the children of Syria. To donate online visit www.unicef.org.uk.