As winter approaches, UNICEF is scaling up its operations to help more families in conflict torn Syria, with provisions such as heating, children’s clothes and prefabricated classrooms.
In addition, in November 2012, UNICEF plans to support a vaccination campaign to protect up to one million children against measles and other diseases.
The agency works with health and education officials, the Syrian Red Crescent and dozens of non-governmental organisations 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 recent visit to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, near the Syrian border.
He continued: “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 one 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 $91 million (£56.1 million) 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 who are supporting the Syrian refugees.
* UNICEF UK: http://www.unicef.org.uk/