GENEVA/AMMAN, 13 January 2015 – Amidst the harshest conditions of the winter so far, UNICEF has delivered warm clothing, blankets, heating supplies, cash and vouchers to more than 900,000 children in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
As the Syria conflict nears the four-year mark, UNICEF estimates that at least 7 million internally displaced and refugee children are in desperate need of assistance. Many continue to live in unfinished buildings and inadequate shelters that expose them to sub-zero temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds.
This winter has brought harsh conditions including sub-zero temperatures, freezing rain and snow across Syria and countries hosting Syrian refugees, compounding the impact of the ongoing conflicts and displacement on vulnerable children and their families. There are reports of child deaths in Syria and Lebanon, as well an increase in illnesses, such as upper respiratory tract infections, associated with exposure to cold temperatures.
IOM and UNICEF recently signed an agreement for the provision of a protective learning environment for internally displaced children in the governorate of Lattakia. IOM will in turn contribute 12 refurbished shipping containers that UNICEF will use as classrooms for the benefit of 1,000 displaced school children.
The UN estimates that 7.6 million are displaced inside Syria, of whom 3.5 million are children. Education provides a track of hope and support for children to re-build their lives even in displacement sites.
Geneva/Damascus, 6 January 2015 – Continuing conflict and the recent closure of some schools in Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zour governorates and parts of rural Aleppo in Syria is believed to have disrupted education for 670,000 children of primary and lower high school age, said UNICEF today.
"In addition to lack of school access, attacks on schools, teachers and students are further horrific reminders of the terrible price Syria’s children are paying in a crisis approaching its fifth year," said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria.
UNICEF 2015 Plan Highlights
• UNICEF will support the continued functionality of and treatment of water in water systems nationwide estimated to reach 16.55 million people through supply of chlorine and repair of water supply systems.
• Polio immunization campaigns will continue nationwide, with 3 national campaigns planned in the first semester of 2015, with further campaigns to be conducted if needed.
UNICEF 2015 Plan Highlights
• The WASH programme will continue the transition from first-phase emergency services to more sustainable, and costeffective systems, and reinforcing WASH services in areas impacted by refugee influx.
• Health programmes will increase access to health care for refugee and impacted host population, including strengthening routine immunization and campaigns especially for polio which continues to threaten the region.
Damascus, 21 December 2014 – An assessment of the nutritional status of displaced children under five living in collective shelters and the host community in Syria has found a “serious” level of global acute malnutrition rate in three governorates, with a “poor” overall nutrition situation.
The Rapid Nutrition Assessment provides a sampling of the nutritional status of displaced children living in collective shelters and the host community in Syria. It is the first large-scale assessment of its type to be completed since the start of the crisis in Syria in March 2011.
UNICEF sector leads in WASH, Education, Nutrition and Child Protection Working Group provided leadership in developing the 2015 Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for Syria which will officially be launched in December 2014. The humanitarian response articulated in SRP is within the framework of the Whole of Syria approach, which is bringing together humanitarian actors working from inside Syria or neighbouring countries for the first time, aimed at increasing the overall effectiveness of the response.
Statement by Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the Launch of the 2015 Strategic Response Plan for Syria (SRP) and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) 2015-16
Amman, December 18, 2014: “The Syria crisis represents the biggest threat to children of recent times. By the end of 2015, the lives of over 8.6 million children across the region will have been torn apart by violence and forced displacement. That compares to a figure of 7 million just one month ago.
Food cuts increase health risks and threaten wellbeing through winter months
AMMAN, 4 December 2014 - UNICEF joins the appeal for urgent support to the World Food Programme (WFP) after the UN agency was forced to cut food assistance for 1.7 million vulnerable Syrians across the region.
This cut will contribute to the growing sense of desperation particularly among children, nursing mothers, persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Amman, Jordan, 25 November 2014 – The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has contributed four million Euros to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) emergency response to children affected by the on-going conflict inside Syria, and in neighboring Jordan where refugee children are now living in camps and host communities.
· In Aleppo city, shortage of water supply is affecting at least 2 million people in the east and western parts. Reduction in the level of dams compounded with control of water supply by armed opposition groups is contributing to the current water crisis.
Over seven million Syrian and Iraqi children caught up in conflict face a harsh winter. UNICEF and partners are distributing winter clothing to one million of the most vulnerable.
AMMAN/GENEVA, 14 November 2014 –As seasonal cold winds, freezing rain, and frigid temperatures close in on conflict-torn parts of the Middle East, UNICEF and partners have begun the distribution of warm clothes and other winter items to ensure that one million of the most vulnerable children are kept warm and healthy.
DAMASCUS, Syria, 7 November 2014 – The attack on the Al Hayat Primary School in the district of Qaboun in eastern Damascus on Wednesday killed 11 children and injured many more – yet another horrific reminder of the terrible price Syria’s children are paying in a brutal conflict now well into its fourth year.
Hopes rise that disease outbreak has been contained
Amman, 24 October 2014 - As the world marks World Polio Day, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners across the Middle East are bolstering efforts to contain a polio outbreak triggered by the conflict in Syria and Iraq last year.
Heightened insecurity in northern Syria has resulted in fresh displacement of Syrian refugees into Turkey and Iraq, as well as internal displacement inside Syria. The insecurity has impacted on the humanitarian situation in northern Syria, limiting access. Meanwhile the Syrian civil war continues unabated, as witnessed by explosions near two elementary schools in Homs city on 1st October killing 29 children and injuring 37 more.
GENEVA/ DAMASCUS, 3 October 2014- “UNICEF welcomes the release of 70 Kurdish children after 120 day of captivity. These children were kidnapped on 29 May 2014 while traveling from their home-town of Ai’n Al Arab in the northern Syrian governorate of Aleppo to take their final school examinations.
“The physical and psychological well-being of these children is currently being assessed. We remain deeply concerned about the safety of children and teachers who are still in captivity.
Damascus, 1 October 2014 – “Today’s double vehicle-born bombing close to Akrama Al Makhzomi Elementary School in the Akrama neighbourhood of Homs city was a despicable act against innocent children.
“At least 17 people were killed and more than 40 were injured. Many of the casualties were children who were leaving the school after classes.