Over the hot summer months UNICEF is continuing to provide a water, sanitation and hygiene response in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Syria UNICEF, with sector partners, is supporting water access in areas where control of water is increasingly being used in the war in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Dara governorates. UNICEF is providing water trucking, rehabilitation of wells and fuel to power systems.
I can still hear my children’s worried voices from the backseat. ‘Mom, do you think they will be nice? What if I won’t make any friends?’
It was the fall of 2001, my daughter was four, my son was six. We had just moved to Syria and were driving to their first day of school and pre-school outside of Damascus, full of the same nervous anticipation that millions of other children and parents feel every year on the first day of class.
· In Syria, access to humanitarian assistance for children in hard-to-reach areas continues to remain a significant challenge. The UN estimates that up to 2 million children are still not being reached due to deteriorating security, shifting frontlines, capacity limitations and administrative hurdles.
By Yasmine Saker
As Syrians continue to flee conflict for the safety of communal shelters, improving water and sanitation facilities becomes ever more challenging and more urgent.
LATAKIA/TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 22 July 2015 – Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, hundreds of thousands of families have sought refuge in the relatively safer coastal cities. As fighting escalates in northern Syria, still more people have fled conflict in Idleb, Aleppo and rural Latakia to seek refuge in the city of Latakia.
DAMASCUS, 22 July 2015 – The restoration of water supplies to the war-torn city of Aleppo has come as a welcome relief to residents whose taps have run dry in recent weeks due to the fighting and frequent power cuts. The disruption to piped water supplies – which in some cases was deliberately implemented by parties to the conflict -- increased the risk of water-borne disease especially among children.
DAMASCUS, 10 July 2015 – Dwindling supplies of safe drinking water during Syria’s scorching summer months are exposing children to the threat of water-borne diseases, UNICEF warns.
Since the beginning of the year, Syria has reported 105,886 cases of acute diarrhoea. There has also been a sharp increase of Hepatitis A cases with a record 1,700 cases reported in one week alone last February.
URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO TACKLE CHILD LABOUR CAUSED BY SYRIAN CRISIS: SAVE THE CHILDREN AND UNICEF
AMMAN, 2 July 2015 - The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria are pushing an ever increasing number of children into exploitation in the labour market, and much more needs to be done to reverse the trend, according to a new report released by Save the Children and UNICEF.
• In Syria, between 17 May and 28 May 2015, more than 305,600 children wrote the grade 9 national exam, across 2,310 schools or centers countrywide.
• In Jordan, through UNICEF partners the Makani-My Space integrated approach, offering alternative education, psychosocial support services and life skills training has been implemented in 145 locations nationwide targeting vulnerable children and youth.
In April UNICEF participated in inter-agency cross-line convoys in Syria which provided humanitarian assistance to hard-to-reach locations delivering health, nutrition, WASH and education supplies to an estimated 125,575 beneciaries. UNICEF also provided cross-border supplies in Syria to hospitals in the form of essential drugs, water and sanitation supplies to treat water and allow families to store it safely at home, and to community groups that provide safe spaces for children.
NEW YORK, 12 June 2015 – Millions of Syrian children will benefit from the generous US$45 million donation made by the Government of Kuwait, UNICEF said today. This brings Kuwait’s total donations to UNICEF in just three years to US$134.5 million to support the humanitarian response for Syrian children.
“After more than four years of conflict, the humanitarian situation in Syria and across the region has grown more desperate – especially for the 5.6 million affected children living inside the country,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt.
General considerations on water supply in Syria
The focus should be on supporting resilient systems, capable of continuing to provide a predictable minimum service to users under extremely fluid situations.
When assessing the resilience of a water supply network, the following factors should be considered:
-Security: while a conflict is still ongoing, any investment on infrastructure repair can be damaged, anytime, by the protracted fighting.
· UNICEF Syria participated this month in inter-agency cross-line convoys which provided humanitarian assistance to hard-to-reach locations delivering health, nutrition, WASH and education supplies to an estimated 125,575 beneficiaries.
· In Lebanon, UNICEF supported the enrolment of 67,490 Syrian refugee children and 11,600 vulnerable Lebanese children in formal public schools.
BY SAJI THOMAS ON 20 MAY 2015
Recently, after a planned trip to Syria was cancelled on the border due to visa problems, I returned to Beirut. Later, I sat down with a colleague from Syria, who came to meet me there to review our work in providing psychosocial support to children in Syria. Despite the long hours it took her to cross the border from Syria to Lebanon, and the late hour, Lina was keen to talk about her work and experiences.
Needs continue to grow across the region, despite border closures there are now almost 4 million Syrian refugees, including over 2 million children. UNICEF has urgent funding needs of US$ 112 million over the next quarter, of which US$ 57 million is for Syria.