Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on deadly attacks on schools in Idlib, northwest Syria

NEW YORK/AMMAN/HONG KONG, 26 October 2016 – “Twenty-two children and six teachers were reportedly murdered today when their school compound was repeatedly attacked in Idlib, Syria.  “This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime. “This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began […]

On 14 October 2016, a boy cooks at a school in Les Cayes, Department du Sud, Haiti.  Ecole Pierre Guerrieris currently in use as a living space or shelter for several hundred people who have lost their homes to hurricane Matthew. Although the school year should have begun, all public schools in the area hit by the hurricane remain closed or turned over to the displaced. 

Hurricane Matthew passed over Haiti on Tuesday October 4, 2016, with heavy rains and winds. While the capital Port au Prince was mostly spared from the full strength of the class 4 hurricane, the western area of Grand Anse, however was in the direct path. 

The cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie received the full force sustaining wind and water damage across wide areas. Coastal towns were severely damaged as were many homes in remote mountainous regions. International relief efforts are underway to provide food water and shelter to the people affected by the storm.

An estimated 500,000 children live in the Grande Anse Department and Grand South Department in southern Haiti, the areas worst hit by Hurricane Matthew. UNICEF had prepositioned emergency supplies with national authorities to reach up to 10,000 people. On 8 October, six water trucks arrived in Jeremie and Les Cayes, the respective capital cities within the Departments. Additional water and sanitation supplies, such as water purification tablets, water bladders and plastic sheeting, have been dispatched to the most affected departments in the westernmost tip of Haiti. As of 10 October, UNICEF delivered blankets, buckets, water purifying equipment and cholera diagnostic kits. UNICEF is working to reinforce good hygiene practices, especially in temporary shelters, in order to minimize the outbreak of disease. An investigation is underway to confirm the areas affected by cholera, and to determine the cross-over with hurricane-affected areas.

Over 300,000 children under five died from diarrhoeal diseases linked to limited access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in 2015

© UNICEF/UN035926/LeMoyne Simple act of handwashing with soap could save thousands of lives NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 14 October 2016 – With cholera spreading fast in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and with a new outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen, UNICEF urges children, families and communities to make washing hands with soap a habit to help […]


Statement attributable to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria, on attack on a school in Daraa

DAMASCUS/HONG KONG, 12 October 2016 – “UNICEF deplores yesterday’s attack on the “That al-Netaqeen” primary school in the city of Daraa which killed five school children, aged between four and 16, and left 15 other children injured. The conflict in Syria has plummeted to such lows that children are now risking their lives just to attend […]

On 15 August 2016 in Muna Garage IDP Camp, Borno state, Nigeria, a UNICEF health worker uses a pen to mark the thumb of Ajeda Mallam, 6 months, who has just been vaccinated against polio at a camp for internally displaced persons outside Maiduguri northeast Nigeria. It is her first vaccination, having been born under Boko Haram captivity. UNICEF and partners have started an emergency polio immunization campaign in Borno State, as a result of two wild poliovirus cases recently found among children in the conflict-affected area. Nigeria – and the continent – had its last confirmed polio case two years ago and was within a year of being certified polio-free.

Massive immunization campaign to reach 41 million children in Nigeria and region to contain polio outbreak

© UNICEF/UN028224/Esiebo DAKAR, Senegal/HONG KONG, 11 October 2016 – A major health campaign is underway in the Lake Chad Basin area to vaccinate over 41 million children against polio to contain the recent outbreak of the disease in north-east Nigeria. Populations fleeing conflict are on the move within the sub-region, raising concerns that the virus […]

On 4 October 2016, at their doorstep, a mother with her two children look at the flooded neighbourhood of los Guandules, in Santo Domingo. Hurricane Matthew passed over Dominican Republic today with heavy rains, killing four people, including three children. It is estimated that many children and families have been displaced from their homes, in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba, including 18,000 people in the Dominican Republic.

One week after Hurricane Matthew, at least 300 schools damaged in Haiti, over 100,000 children miss out on learning – UNICEF

© UNICEF/UN034592/Afonso PORT-AU-PRINCE/NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 10 October 2016 – One week after Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, and as schools re-open across the country, more than 100,000 children will be missing out on learning after their schools were either damaged or converted into shelters. “At least 100,000 children today will not experience the joy, safety […]