NEW YORK (December 20, 2012) — The number of Syrian refugees has risen to over half a million. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore has made an urgent plea for additional humanitarian assistance for women and children who have had to flee their homes—especially as winter has presented even more challenges.
“Children are paying the highest price,” says Sir Roger in the video message. “They are dying, they are hurt and they need healing.”
Some 2.5 million people have been affected by months of heavy fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, while more than 500,000 others have fled the country into neighboring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and North Africa.
Temperatures are quickly dropping, with nights dipping near or below the freezing point.
Many children fled their homes with only summer clothing, and very few belongings. Thousands of children are in temporary shelters and in desperate need of warm clothes and blankets. UNICEF is especially worried about the health of the children, many of whom are already fragile from ongoing stress associated with conflict and displacement, and who are at added risk of respiratory diseases.
In response, UNICEF has urgently been providing clothes, blankets and medicine to the most vulnerable children inside and outside of the Syrian Arab Republic.
“With winter setting in—things will get harder,” says Sir Roger, who is perhaps best known for his role as Secret Agent 007 in the James Bond movie series. “UNICEF is there on the ground in Syria and the neighboring countries setting up schools, getting in water and critical supplies, and helping children be children again.”
But much more is needed, says the famous British actor, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for more than 20 years.
UNICEF urgently needs an additional $68 million to support its emergency response in the Syrian Arab Republic and surrounding countries.
“With your help, we can do more,” says Sir Roger.