AMMAN, 4 February 2013 – A large-scale operation is under way in Syria to secure safe water supplies for more than 10 million people – close to half the population, UNICEF said today.
The first four trucks carrying 80 tons of sodium hypochlorite water chlorination supplies crossed the Jordanian border into Syria on Sunday, heading for Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idleb. Over the coming weeks, UNICEF will deliver 1,000 tons of chlorine to cities and communities across all 14 governorates in Syria.
The operation comes amid rising concern over the impact of the 23-month conflict on water pumping stations and other vital infrastructure – and the implications for children’s health in particular. Reports say that the quality and quantity of water supplies continues to deteriorate in different parts of the country and in some areas very severely.
“This shipment is very timely as supplies of chlorine in Syria have fallen dangerously low, making access to safe water challenging for many families,” said Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Syria. “This puts the population – and children especially – at high risk of contracting diarrhea and other water-borne diseases.”
The chlorine delivery is being conducted in coordination with the technical department of the Ministry of Water Resources and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
As part of its humanitarian response in Syria in the areas of water, hygiene and sanitation, UNICEF is supporting the operation and maintenance of water systems, through providing equipment and chlorination supplies. UNICEF will also work with partners to increase access to sanitation facilities for half a million people and provide hygiene items and hygiene education to 750,000 people.
UNICEF needs US$22.5 million to deliver life-saving assistance in Syria in the area of water and sanitation from January to June 2013. Only US$4.8 million has been received so far.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
For further information, please contact:
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Tel. +962-79-590-4740, email@example.com,
Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Tel. +962-79-867-4628, firstname.lastname@example.org,