UNICEF Expanding Relief Efforts in Syria to Reach More Children and Families

UNICEF is scaling up its operation within Syria and in the countries affected by the crisis to cope with the growing needs of children and families. About 1 million children are affected by the conflict inside Syria, and more than 100,000 Syrian children have been displaced. UNICEF is urgently scaling up its emergency response to reach hundreds of thousands of children with protection services, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, and education initiatives. But a lack of funds is inhibiting what can be achieved.

NEW YORK (October 9, 2012) – UNICEF is scaling up its operation within Syria and in the countries affected by the crisis to cope with the growing needs of children and families.

About 1 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 protection services, 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 for its operations.

As winter approaches, UNICEF is expanding its operations to help more families with provisions such as heating, children’s clothes and prefabricated classrooms. In addition, next month UNICEF plans to support a vaccination campaign to protect up to 1 million children against measles and other diseases. UNICEF works with health and education officials, the Syrian Red Crescent and dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) 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 UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake during a visit to the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border in Jordan. “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.”

During his visit to Jordan, the UNICEF Executive Director spoke with children and families who were forced to flee the violence in Syria. He also met with Jordanian authorities, UN agency partners, and local and international NGOs who are supporting the Syrian refugees.

How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Website: www.unicefusa.org/syria
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.

About UNICEF

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 additional information, please contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org