UNICEF Continues Massive Humanitarian Operation for Syria’s Children

 

UNICEF Continues Massive Humanitarian Operation for Syria’s Children

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.

Iraq, May 2013. Two Syrian girls plays behind the tent in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq. The area is strewn with rubbish and often raw sewage but children have nowhere else to go to play. Domiz is situated near the city of Dohuk, about forty miles from the Syrian border. Approximately 40,000 Syrians are living here, in facilities provided for around half that number. April 2013 marked one year since Domiz camp opened in Dohuk, Northern Iraq. In that time it has grown to a tent city of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees. UNICEF provides services in education, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and health and nutrition. UK Nat Com local copies of these files at \Unicef-mediaphotosCOUNTRIESsyriaSY2013-refugees-IRAQ Iraq, May 2013. A young Syrian boy sits in front of his family's tent in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq. Domiz is situated near the city of Dohuk, about forty miles from the Syrian border. Approximately 40,000 Syrians are living here, in facilities provided for around half that number April 2013 marked one year since Domiz camp opened in Dohuk, Northern Iraq. In that time it has grown to a tent city of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees. UNICEF provides services in education, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and health and nutrition. UK Nat Com local copies of these files at \Unicef-mediaphotosCOUNTRIESsyriaSY2013-refugees-IRAQ

“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.

On 1 September, a UNICEF worker observes as cargo, part of 100 tonnes of emergency supplies, is unloaded from a plane that has just arrived in the city of Erbil, Kurdistan Region. The supplies were urgently airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, in response to the growing needs of the estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees now in Iraq. The worker’s T-shirt as well as a tarpaulin affixed to the cargo bear the UNICEF logo. On 1 September 2013 in Iraq, a plane carrying 100 tonnes of UNICEF emergency supplies for Syrian refugee children and their families arrived in the city of Erbil. The supplies were urgently airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, to respond to the growing needs of the estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees now in Iraq. Delivered supplies include water tanks, tap stands, latrine equipment, water purification tablets and testing kits; oral rehydration solution; emergency health and hygiene, early childhood development, and recreation kits; school materials; and temporary schools and safe spaces. The provision of most of the supplies was made possible by a US$5.8 million contribution from the Government of Kuwait as well as an in-kind contribution from UPS, a UNICEF partner, which provided support toward the cost of airlifting the goods. Inside Syria, the war continues to escalate and has displaced some 4.25 million people. In addition to Iraq, Syrians also continue to flee to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and as far away as Egypt. By 3 September, the total number of Syrian refugees had surpassed 2 million. One million of them are children. Working with diverse governments, partners and other United Nations agencies, UNICEF has appealed for a total of US$470.65 million to cover responses within Syria and all host countries. By 22 August, nearly 60 per cent had been funded. 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).