NEW YORK (September 5, 2013) - Amid heightened tensions across the region and as the number of Syria’s refugees surpasses two million—half of them children—UNICEF continues to provide urgent life-saving supplies to children inside Syria and in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, where they are sheltering.
“This is one of the largest humanitarian operations that UNICEF has ever undertaken,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF’s Regional Director of the Middle East and North Africa. “We are working on the ground, around the clock with a wide network of dedicated partners to reach Syrian children across the region.”
UNICEF estimates that there has been a more than tenfold increase in the number of Syrian child refugees—from 70,000 to more than one million—in less than a year.
In recent weeks, an average of 2,500 children have been crossing Syria’s borders every day. To meet increasing humanitarian needs, UNICEF is pre-positioning essential supplies such as bottled water; water tanks, purification tablets, and containers; nutritional supplies; hygiene and diarrheal disease kits; soap; blankets; winter clothes; and other household materials.
And as the new school year begins across the region, UNICEF is supporting children returning to school, providing school bags, materials and furniture.
Since the beginning of the year, UNICEF has provided more than 10.2 million people affected by the crisis with safe water, vaccinated more than 2.4 million children against diseases, enrolled 278,000 in education programs, and provided 468,000 children with recreational activities.
As part of the largest appeal the United Nations has ever launched in its history, UNICEF asked for $470 million for its Syria regional response. UNICEF still needs $189 million for its humanitarian relief operations.
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
Text: SYRIA to 864233 to donate $10.
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 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:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, firstname.lastname@example.org