· Across the region, UNICEF vaccinated over 25 million children against polio including 2.9 million children in Syria alone resulting in the successful containment of the disease.
· UNICEF and partners provided water treatment chemicals to clean water for the network that reached 16.5 million people inside Syria, and has provided 2.1 million people with safe drinking water in host communities and camps in neighbouring countries
In Egypt, 97,312 beneficiaries were reached with food assistance in November, with more than USD 2.7 million injected into the local economy through food vouchers during the month.
Distribution of food assistance across the region was carried out as planned, without the reductions in voucher values or beneficiaries expected as a result of funding shortages.
The numbers of conflict-affected people in Syria have increased twelve fold since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, with 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 5.6 million children as of December 2014, making it the largest displacement crisis globally. Almost half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, many suffering secondary or multiple displacements. Over 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria, and their coping mechanisms as well as those of host communities are all but exhausted.
Polio experts cautiously optimistic, but warn that disease could make renewed comeback
BEIRUT, 27 January 2015 - A 12-month emergency immunization response across the Middle East appears to have halted an outbreak of polio that began in Syria and Iraq, according to health experts meeting in Beirut.
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.