Children in Aleppo trapped in “living nightmare” – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth


Children in Aleppo trapped in “living nightmare” – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth

On 10 August 2016 in the Syrian Arab Republic, a displaced child from al-Hamadaniyah neighbourhood in the western part of Aleppo, now stays at a school turned into a shelter. 

By end August 2016, children continue to bear the brunt of the latest surge in violence in Aleppo.  In the eastern part of Aleppo, around 100,000 children remain trapped since early July.  Water has ceased flowing through the public network, as the generator that operates the main water pumping station needs urgent repairs.  UNICEF does not have safe access to provide the urgent humanitarian assistance needed in the area.

In the western part of Aleppo, an estimated 35,000 people were displaced when new waves of fighting hit the al-Hamadaniyah neighbourhood.  Already displaced by the war and living in half-built apartment towers, again families had to flee and leave everything behind.  Most families are currently staying in informal shelters such as schools and mosques as well as in parks and on the streets.  UNICEF trucks in water daily for 300,000 of the most vulnerable people including newly displaced families in informal shelters. The main electricity network that powers pumping stations sustained damage in recent fighting. UNICEF supports the delivery of fuel to operate generators for water pumping stations and groundwater wells that provide safe drinking water to around 1.2 million people.

© UNICEF/UN029871/Al-Issa

NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 28 September 2016 – At least 96 children have been killed and 223 have been injured in Eastern Aleppo since Friday, UNICEF said.

“The children of Aleppo are trapped in a living nightmare,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth. “There are no words left to describe the suffering they are experiencing.”

The health system in Eastern Aleppo is crumbling with some 30 doctors left, hardly any equipment or emergency medicine to treat the injured, and an ever increasing number of trauma cases.

A doctor on the ground told UNICEF that children with low chances of survival are too often left to die due to limited capacity and supplies.

“Nothing can justify such assaults on children and such total disregard for human life. The suffering – and the shock among children – is definitely the worst we have seen,” said Forsyth.