Keep Them Warm — UNICEF Helps Syrian Children Brace for Winter's Chill

December 28, 2016
Winter in the Middle East brings storms and freezing temperatures, making already desperate living conditions even worse for millions of children affected by the war.

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For the sixth year in a row, millions of Syrian children uprooted by conflict are facing a harsh winter, with freezing rains and snowstorms ready to sweep the region. UNICEF is responding to ease this hardship by supplying winter clothing and blankets to children most in need.

UNICEF is working around the clock to procure and deliver jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats, socks, scarves, thermal blankets and other items to children displaced from Aleppo or trapped in other conflict-torn areas.

The priority is to reach the most vulnerable children — the youngest, the poorest, the displaced — particularly those living in abandoned or unfinished buildings. Children like Teba, 11, whose family has moved six times in the last three years and recently took shelter in a poorly insulated apartment outside Damascus.    

Teba wears the winter clothes she received from UNICEF. “I want to become a doctor when I grow up,” she says. ©UNICEF/ Syria 2015/ Sanadiki

Another goal is to reach refugee children already facing difficult conditions in camps and host settlements in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. Many are already weakened from months of undernutrition and lack of health care, putting them at high risk of hypothermia and serious respiratory infections.

UNICEF Winter for Syrian Children: On 21 December 2016 at the Al-Nour IDP camp in rural Idlib, Syrian Arab Republic, two children walk in the snow and mud.

Children walk in the snow and mud at the Al-Nour camp for displaced families in rural Idlib. © UNICEF/UN046841/Alwan

Families are exhausted and financially drained from years of conflict and unemployment, making the purchase of warm clothing and heating fuel all but impossible.

This winter, UNICEF aims to reach more than 2.5 million children in the region with winter kits and cash assistance for families, many of whom fled violence without any of their belongings. 

The first day delivery of winter clothing reached more than 1,700 Syrian refugee children on Sinjar Mountain in Iraq. UNICEF hopes to reach 7,000 children in the coming weeks. © UNICEF/Hayder

Distribution is already underway, but needs are outpacing support. Help UNICEF keep kids safe from the cold. Your contribution is crucial. Every moment counts.

Stand for Hope: Please help us keep Syrian children warm this winter.

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