NEW YORK (February 4, 2013) — A large-scale operation is underway in Syria to secure safe water supplies for close to half the country’s population, UNICEF said today.
The first four trucks carrying 80 tons of sodium hypochlorite water chlorination supplies crossed the Jordanian border into Syria on Sunday, heading for Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idleb. Over the coming weeks, UNICEF will deliver 1,000 tons of chlorine for more than 10 million people in cities and communities across all 14 governorates in Syria.
The operation comes amid rising concerns over the impact of the 23-month conflict on water pumping stations and other vital infrastructure—and the implications for children’s health. Reports say that the quality and quantity of water supplies continue to deteriorate in different parts of the country, including very severely in some areas.
“This shipment is very timely, as supplies of chlorine in Syria have fallen dangerously low, making access to safe water challenging for many families,” said Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Syria. “This puts the population—and children especially—at high risk of contracting diarrhea and other water-borne diseases.”
The chlorine delivery is being conducted in coordination with the technical department of the Ministry of Water Resources and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
As part of its humanitarian response in Syria in the areas of water, hygiene and sanitation, UNICEF is supporting the operation and maintenance of water systems through the provision of equipment and chlorination supplies. UNICEF will also work with partners to increase access to sanitation facilities for half a million people and provide hygiene items and hygiene education to 750,000 people.
UNICEF needs $22.5 million to deliver life-saving assistance in Syria in the area of water and sanitation from January to June 2013. Only $4.8 million has been received so far.
How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038
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.