Do you want to hear the latest on the Syria crisis? Join us on Thursday, February 28, at 10:00 AM EST, for a Google+ Hangout with Ted Chaiban, the director of Emergency Programs for UNICEF. Ted Chaiban has just come back from Syria, and will report firsthand on the hardships faced by children and what UNICEF is doing to help them.
In late February, children shelter in the doorway of a house, amid gunfire and shelling, in a city affected by the conflict. © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0218/Alessio RomenziSome 4 million people have been affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria—and half of them are children. Many children have fled their homes, and are now staying in refugee camps or temporary shelters. After surviving disruption and violence, they are now suffering through a bitterly cold winter, with little to keep them warm. Families often fled with nothing but the summer clothes they were wearing. Despite the intensification of violence, UNICEF has stepped up its relief efforts, distributing items like blankets, children’s clothes, hygiene items, plastic sheets and high-energy biscuits. UNICEF is also helping to provide clean water and is distributing school supplies. The biggest obstacle right now is lack of funding—UNICEF has only received 20% of the funds it needs to provide necessary humanitarian assistance. More than ever, there is an urgent need to help children in Syria and neighboring countries. To join the Google+ Hangout with Ted Chaiban, please visit the event page for the Hangout. And keep an eye on that page for the YouTube link to Thursday’s Hangout. Until then, you can watch this video about UNICEF stepping up its emergency aid to Syria. To donate to help the children affected by the crisis in Syria, visit our Syria donation page.