NEW YORK (March 15, 2013) – In the week that marks two years since the crisis in Syria began, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited a refugee camp in Jordan to meet families who fled the fighting.
The King Abdullah Park camp, just 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, is sheltering 921 people, 529 of whom are children under 18. They are currently receiving assistance from UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme (WFP).
During their visit, Their Royal Highnesses spent time with families in the camp, hearing for themselves about the profound distress that they have been through and the extreme challenges that many now face as they attempt to survive and look after their children.
The Royal couple was shown around the camp by UNICEF and UNHCR, who are assisting the families. Their Royal Highnesses visited a children’s space and met children who had fled Syria with their families.
The Duchess of Cornwall was introduced to children at the center, who told her that they were drawing pictures of things they were missing from home. Her Royal Highness was told that this kind of activity helps children deal with the severe trauma that many experienced before they fled their country to escape the conflict.
UNICEF Representative Dominique Hyde explained that 250 children from the camp are transported every day to a school in a nearby town. The children told Her Royal Highness that it makes them happy to be able to go to school again.
“After all the violence they have witnessed and all the stress they have been through, UNICEF is providing the children of Syria with vital support ranging from safe drinking water, essential vaccines and nutrition, to education, clothing and protection,” said Haque. “In this camp alone we are helping more than 250 children to get back into school and reconnect with their childhood. Across Jordan, we support the education of nearly 40,000 children.”
To date, UNICEF’s appeal for children affected by the conflict in Syria is less than 20 percent funded. This chronic lack of funding is threatening to leave many Syrian children without essential assistance. Unless an 80 percent funding gap is bridged, UNICEF will be forced to scale back on its lifesaving interventions.
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.