UNICEF prepared refugee children and their families for the onset of last year's cold season by installing heaters and water boilers in the camps, providing heated winter tents for use as classrooms and distributing blankets and clothing packages. The humanitarian effort is much more challenging this winter given a tenfold increase in the number of Syrian child refugees — from 70,000 to more than 1 million — in less than a year.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is helping UNICEF provide Syrian children with the warm winter clothing they need, procuring 20,000 kits that contain thermal underwear, outerwear, socks and mittens. Winter boots will also be included for children age two and over. The kits will be packed in Carteret, New Jersey and Louisville, Kentucky and then shipped to the region by UNICEF's logistics partner, UPS. Supplies from the U.S. will be distributed to Syrian children who are refugees in Lebanon and Iraq.
While Syria and the surrounding region enjoy a temperate Mediterranean climate in coastal areas, inland regions can become inhospitable in winter. Temperatures fall to 0˙F (-17˙C) and below; storms and heavy snows are common. For refugees living in tents, exposure to the cold is significant. When it is winter outside, it is winter inside. Children, already physically stressed by their experiences during the conflict, can face serious health consequences.
Help keep Syria's children warm this winter.