UN scaling up operations to help affected Syrian families

Saturday, October 13, 2012
[PHOTO: © UNHCR/A.Eurdolian] 
Amman: UNICEF is expanding its operation within Syria and in the countries affected by the Syrian crisis to cope with the growing needs of children and families.

As winter approaches, UNICEF is scaling up its operations to help more families with provisions such as heating, children’s clothes and prefabricated classrooms. In addition next month UNICEF plans to support a vaccination campaign to protect up to 1 million children against measles and other diseases. UNICEF works with health and education officials, the Syrian Red Crescent and dozens of NGOs and local associations across Syria.

“There is a perception that things are so bad in Syria that nothing can be done and that is simply not the case,” said Anthony Lake UNICEF Executive Director during a visit to the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border. “We have been on the ground before and throughout the crisis, we have already reached hundreds of thousands of children and there are now more opportunities in Syria to reach even more children than we have the resources to support.”

Around 1 million children are affected by the conflict inside Syria, and more than 100,000 Syrian children have been displaced to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. UNICEF is urgently scaling up its emergency response to reach hundreds of thousands of children with child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, and education initiatives. But a lack of funds is inhibiting what can be achieved. UNICEF has appealed for US$91m for its operations.

During his visit to Jordan, the UNICEF Executive Director spoke with children and families who were forced to flee the Syrian violence. He also met with Jordanian authorities, UN agency partners, and local and international NGOs that are supporting the Syrian refugees.
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