AMMAN/HONG KONG, 4 September 2013- Amidst heightened tensions across the region and as the number of Syria’s refugees rises beyond 2 million – half of them children – UNICEF continues to provide urgent life-saving supplies to children inside Syria and in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
“This is one of the largest humanitarian operations that UNICEF has ever undertaken,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF’s Regional Director of the Middle East and North Africa. “We are working on the ground, round the clock with a wide network of dedicated partners to reach Syrian children across the region.”
UNICEF estimates that there has been a more than tenfold increase in the number of Syrian child refugees – from 70,000 to more than 1 million – in less than one year.
|In recent weeks 2,500 children on average have been crossing Syria’s borders every day. To meet increasing humanitarian needs, work is on-going to pre-position essential supplies such as bottled water, water tanks and purification tablets, jerry cans, nutritional supplies, hygiene and diarrheal disease kits, soap, blankets, winter clothes and other household materials.
And as the new school year begins across the region, UNICEF is supporting children’s return to learning, providing school bags, materials and furniture.
Since the beginning of the year, UNICEF has provided more than 10.2 million people affected by the crisis with safe water, vaccinated more than 2.4 million children against diseases, enrolled 278,000 in education programmes and provided 468,000 children with recreational activities.
As part of the largest appeal the United Nations has ever launched in its history, UNICEF asked for HK$3,666 million (USD $470 million) for its Syria regional response. UNICEF still needs HK$1,474 million (USD $189 million).