Appeal by heads of leading UN humanitarian agencies for the people in Syria

 

Appeal by heads of leading UN humanitarian agencies for the people in Syria

Enough. Enough.

After more than two years of conflict and more than 70,000 deaths, including thousands of children …

After more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, including over a million refugees living in severely stressed neighbouring countries …

After so many families torn apart and communities razed, schools and hospitals wrecked and water systems ruined …

After all this, there still seems an insufficient sense of urgency among the governments and parties that could put a stop to the cruelty and carnage in Syria.

We, leaders of UN agencies charged with dealing with the human costs of this tragedy, appeal to political leaders involved to meet their responsibility to the people of Syria and to the future of the region. We ask that they use their collective influence to insist on a political solution to this horrendous crisis before hundreds of thousands more people lose their homes and lives and futures—in a region that is already at the tipping point.

Our agencies and humanitarian partners have been doing all we can. With the support of many governments and people, we have helped shelter more than a million refugees. We have helped provide access to food and other basic necessities for millions displaced by the conflict, to water and sanitation to over 5.5 million affected people in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and to basic health services for millions of Syrians, including vaccinations to over 1.5 million children against measles and polio.

But it has not nearly been enough. The needs are growing while our capacity to do more is diminishing, due to security and other practical limitations within Syria as well as funding constraints. We are precariously close, perhaps within weeks, to suspending some humanitarian support.

Our appeal today is not for more resources, needed as they are. We are appealing for something more important than funds. To all involved in this brutal conflict and to all governments that can influence them:

Boys play on a destroyed army tank, in the town of Azaz in the north-western Aleppo Governorate. By late September 2012 in Syria, escalating war continues to take its toll on children and their families. Some 2.5 million people have been affected, of which 1.2 million half of them children have been displaced. Deaths, including of children and women, are estimated at 19,000. Syrians have also fled to neighboring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey; more than 226,700 have registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), while over 75,000 are awaiting registration. UNICEF continues working with diverse governments, other United Nations organizations and local and international NGOs to respond to the needs of affected children both in and outside Syria. UNICEF also supports initiatives in education, water, sanitation and hygiene, health, nutrition and child protection, including the provision of child-friendly spaces and psychosocial assistance for children traumatized by their experiences in relation to the conflict. To fund this work, UNICEF has requested US$123 million, of which less than 25 per cent has been received to date.20130417_syriaappeal_2

In the name of all those who have so suffered, and the many more whose futures hang in the balance: Enough! Summon and use your influence, now, to save the Syrian people and save the region from disaster.

OCHA Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan

Your donations can help save Syrian children’s lives!

A health worker vaccinates a girl against measles, during the UNICEF-supported immunization campaign, in a mobile hospital in Za’atari, a tented camp for Syrian refugees. The camp, which presently hosts over 27,000 refugees, is located on the outskirts of Mafraq, capital of the northern Mafraq Governorate. By mid-September 2012, Jordan was hosting 86,940 refugees from Syria’s escalating war. Syrians have also fled to nearby Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey, bringing the total number of refugees to over 260,500. Inside Syria, some 2.5 million people have been affected by the conflict, of which 1.2 million – half of them children – are displaced. Deaths, including of children and women, have surpassed 18,000. In Jordan, the number of refugees continues to increase. On 11 September, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the World Health Organization and other partners, launched a large-scale polio and measles vaccination campaign targeting over 100,000 children staying in the Za’atari refugee camp, nearby transit centres and in host communities. UNICEF continues working with diverse governments, other United Nations organizations and local and international NGOs to respond to the needs of affected children in all host countries and inside Syria. UNICEF also supports initiatives in education, water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection, including the provision of child-friendly spaces and psychosocial assistance for children traumatized by their experiences in relation to the conflict. To fund this work, UNICEF has requested US$65 million, of which only 38 per cent has been received to date. Children wash clothes, in Za’atari, a tented camp for Syrian refugees, on the outskirts of Mafraq, capital of the northern Mafraq Governorate. UNICEF assistance in the camp includes the provision of safe drinking water and the installation of permanent latrines, bathing facilities, wash basins, as well as mobile units containing these amenities. UNICEF also supports a child-friendly space, run by Save the Children. By late July 2012, Jordan was hosting 37,380 refugees from Syria’s escalating war. Syrians have also fled to nearby Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey, bringing the total number of refugees to over 120,000 – half of them children. Inside Syria, an estimated 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Deaths, including of children and women, have surpassed 17,000. In Jordan, the number of refugees continues to increase, straining already limited resources in crowded accommodation facilities. Four transit sites in northern parts of the country are hosting nearly 5,200 refugees, though their intended capacity is less than half that. Za’atari, a UNICEF-assisted tented camp, has been newly built to accommodate over 100,000 refugees. UNICEF is working with diverse governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and local and international NGOs to respond to the needs of affected children in Jordan, other host countries and inside Syria. UNICEF also supports initiatives in education, water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection, including psychosocial assistance for children traumatized by their experiences in relation to the conflict. To fund this work, UNICEF has requested US$39.2 million, of which only 30 per cent has been received to date. In late January, a boy receives first aid after being shot in the foot by a sniper, in a town affected by the conflict. In January and February 2012 in Syria, children found themselves in the midst of a growing conflict between rebel and government forces. By mid-March, violence had claimed the lives of more than 500 children and 244 women. By late March, the year-long conflict had killed 9,000 people and wounded many others. An estimated 1.7 million people have been affected by the violence, which has extended into at least half of the country’s 14 governorates. Education and health services have also been disrupted. Some 150,000–200,000 people have been internally displaced. An estimated 30,000 refugees – half of them children – have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. While most have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), others have not, fearing possible retaliation against them or family members remaining in Syria. Many refugees in Lebanon and Jordan are being hosted by local families, who also require assistance. UNICEF is participating in an inter-agency assessment of needs in conflict-affected parts of Syria and has requested US$7.4 million to – with governments, UNHCR and local and international NGOs – address the needs of an anticipated total of 40,000 refugee children, including those staying with host families, in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, over the next six months. Support includes psychosocial assistance for children traumatized by the conflict to which they have been subjected or borne witness.
HK$1,500
for 962 doses of measles vaccine,
to protect children from this
deadly disease
HK$2,500
for basic family water kits
for 32 families to access
clean and safe water
HK$3,500
for 18 first aid kits,
to treat the injured children

 

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