NEW YORK (April 20, 2012) — UNICEF is deeply concerned over the continued suffering of children caught in the crisis in Syria, and is calling for additional funds to address the needs of Syrian children now sheltering in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
At a meeting in Geneva, of the Syria Humanitarian Forum, UNICEF Deputy Director of Emergency Programs, Dermot Carty, said children and young people account for 50% of all refugees crossing into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
“UNICEF is extremely concerned by reports from interviews with children and parents on the ground that the majority of children are traumatized and experiencing signs of grave distress,” said Carty. “We call on all parties involved to protect children from the physical and emotional consequences of violence and displacement.”
Carty stressed UNICEF’s support for the Regional Response Plan (RRP) led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Carty also stressed that with the continued influx of refugees, more funding was urgently needed.
Since the launch of the RRP in March, UNICEF has received less than $1.5 million of the $7.4 million requirement.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, 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.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. But still, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.