NEW YORK (September 3, 2013) – A plane carrying 100 tons of UNICEF emergency supplies to assist Syrian refugee children and families arrived on Sunday in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The supplies were airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, to respond to the growing needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq, who now number more than 200,000. Some 50,000 refugees have arrived in the last two and a half weeks, half of whom are children.
“These supplies come just in time to meet the pressing needs of the over 20,000 Syrian children who have recently arrived in northern Iraq,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “This airlift underlines UNICEF’s unwavering support for the vital services these children need in the face of terrible suffering, trauma and stress.”
The supplies include water tanks, latrine equipment, water purification tablets and testing kits; oral rehydration solution; emergency health, hygiene, early childhood development and recreational kits; school materials; and temporary schools and safe spaces, among other items.
An additional 12 trucks of supplies, carrying primarily hygiene kits for more than 50,000 people, arrived earlier this week from UNICEF’s warehouse hub in Mersin, Turkey. Four more trucks filled with emergency materials have also arrived from Baghdad, Iraq.
“All of these items are part of a first wave of supplies that will massively scale up UNICEF’s emergency response to the growing number of Syrian refugee children and families in Iraq,” said Dr. Babille.
The majority of supplies were made possible by a $5.8 million contribution from the Government of Kuwait as well as an in-kind contribution from UPS, a long-standing partner of UNICEF, which provided support toward the airlift cost from Copenhagen.
UNICEF is working closely with the Kurdistan Regional Government, other UN agencies, and international and national non-governmental organizations to deliver essential services—particularly in water and sanitation, education, health and nutrition, and child protection—to Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
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As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For additional information, please contact:
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