Mobile health teams treat Syrian children and families where they shelter
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 April 2013 – Six mornings a week, Dr. Fedaa Shofan attends to children and women seeking medical assistance at a clinic run by one of the local NGOs in Homs city.
At a camp on the Syrian–Turkish border, talk of the past and present - and the future
BAB AL SALAMA, Syrian Arab Republic, 23 April 2013 – Last November, Bassam Guan, a 35-year-old father of four, left for work at a freezer plant in his hometown of Marea in the northern part of the Syrian Arab Republic. His family never saw him again. That afternoon, the plant was bombed by war planes. Mr. Guan and nine of his colleagues died in the explosion. Many more were wounded.
With volunteers risking their safety, humanitarian work has become part of fabric of community in Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 8 April 2013 – During my recent mission to Homs, I met medics who work with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), as well as volunteers with major local NGOs, all of whom risk their lives to help people.
A place of sanctuary for children of Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 3 April 2013 – I did not quite know what to expect when I accompanied a UNICEF team driving through the streets of Homs.
Children's lives on hold, in the Syrian Arab Republic
TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 2 April 2013 – “My 4-year-old sister couldn’t talk for a while after she witnessed our neighbourhood under attack,” says Siham*.
Children's health suffering, medical care insufficient, at camp sheltering Syrians
BAB AL SALAMA, Syrian Arab Republic, 28 March 2013 – In Bab al Salama camp, Khola Bakkor sits quietly in the tent her family have sheltered in for seven long months.
Children find a safe space to learn in conflict-torn Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 March 2013 – Homs has suffered some of the heaviest and most relentless fighting in the Syrian conflict. Many neighbourhoods have been damaged or destroyed, leaving at least 600,000 of the city’s residents in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Hossam and Shimaa, both 12, talk about how crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic has torn their lives apart
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 13 March 2013 – Hossam, 12, lives in a school building. “I have been living here with my father, my stepmother, my two siblings and step-sister for one year. We also have here with us my grandfather, and my uncle and my aunt’s families,” he says.
Remedial classes help displaced children in Homs, Syrian Arab Republic, continue their education
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 12 March 2013 – Syrian students in winter sweaters sit in a classroom decorated with colourful drawings, listening intently to their enthusiastic young teacher explain Arabic grammar.
Women heads of household struggle to support and protect family, in crisis-torn Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 27 February 2013 – You don’t have to drive too far to see signs of destruction and devastation. The thundering sound of shelling is part of everyday life here. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have had to flee their homes from many parts of Homs in search of safety
After winter break and heavy rains, back to school at Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 27 February 2013 – It’s back to school for thousands of Syrian children at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
UNICEF officer takes part in recent mission delivering critical relief supplies to displaced people in northwestern Syria
Syrian Arab Republic, 22 February 2013 - A few days ago, I took part in a joint UN mission to Karameh, in Syria’s north-western Idleb Province, to deliver much needed relief supplies to thousands of displaced people.
UNICEF officer shares the story of one young girl in Tartous, Syrian Arab Republic
TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 February 2013 - During my recent mission to Tartous, where approximately 200,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, I went to assist with the distribution of family hygiene kits to affected families. Distribution was implemented by UNICEF’s local partner Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
Field diary: In Syrian Arab Republic, pockets of hope in a world of chaos
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 11 February 2013 – I have just returned from Homs, where I stayed for one month as part of a mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the governorate. We have also worked to review humanitarian programmes and to strengthen and build our relationship with local partners for expanding our work.
Field diary: Impressions from the battered war zone of Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 15 January 2013 – Homs has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic’s 22-month conflict, with hundreds of thousands of residents displaced.
Syrian refugee children are dying, they are hurt and they need healing, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore
NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 December 2012 – The number of Syrian refugees has risen to over half a million. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore has made an urgent plea for additional humanitarian assistance for women and children who have had to flee their homes – especially as winter has presented even more challenges.
Field Diary: Parents in the Syrian Arab Republic brave fighting to get their children vaccinated
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 December 2012 - At the vaccination clinics I visited, the sounds of children crying after their injections mixed with the explosions of gunshots and shelling in the streets outside.
Amidst talk of relocation, internally displaced children express themselves through recreational activities
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 September 2012 - “Where we will be taken?” “Where are they going to put us?” “What will happen to us?” Such are the concerns of internally displaced persons housed in schools in the Syrian Arab Republic. As the school year approaches, rumours have spread that the families will be moved.
UNICEF and partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance for Syrian children and families in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 15 August 2012 – Umm Ghassan sat inside her tent in Za’atari camp, holding her two-year-old grandchild. She was waiting for the child’s siblings and mother, who had gone to fetch the water necessary to meet the family’s drinking and washing needs.
In Syria, Schools Become Homes and Support Centers
DAMASCUS, Syria, 2 Aug, 2012 - In Damascus, Aleppo and other cities in Syria, schools are hosting internally displaced persons who had to flee neighbourhoods affected by shelling and violence. According to the Ministry of Education, 307 schools today are hosting internally displaced persons. Residents vary from 50 in a small school to more than 400 in big schools.
Ordinary citizens pitch in to assist people displaced by the violence in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 27 July 2012 – These have been difficult times for everyone in Damascus. Thousands of people have had to leave their homes to seek refuge in safer areas, often in schools and mosques. By the weekend, dozens of schools in and around Damascus were full of displaced families.
In Lebanon, summer camp offers safety, education and care for Syrian refugee children and marginalized Lebanese children
BEQAA VALLEY, Syria, 27 July 2012 – “Why [do] all beautiful things have an end?” said 8-year-old Chadi* at the end of a five-week summer camp for Syrian refugee children and marginalized Lebanese children. “I was so happy here; I played, learned and made so many friends.” The camp, organized by UNICEF and the Lebanese nongovernmental organization IQRA’ Association, offered a safe place for these children to learn, play and receive psychosocial support.
UNICEF-supported summer camps are helping Syrian and Lebanese children integrate into public schools in Lebanon
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 6 July 2012 – “I was here at seven this morning because I did not want to be late for class,” said 8-year-old Razan*, looking up from her drawing book. “Here we get to read stories and learn new words, and sing and dance.”
Summer camps help Syrian refugee children recovery, regain missed education
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 July 2012 – At a large primary school on the outskirts of the capital Amman, 11-year-old Basma* and her 7-year-old sister are among around 180 children, most of them Syrian refugees, taking part in a summer camp.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children are learning to cope with the violence they’ve witnessed
MAFRAQ/AMMAN, Jordan, 4 June 2012 – On their way to school in Homs last year, 9-year-old twins Seema* and Nour* saw dead bodies in the street.
In southern Turkey, Syrian refugee children are caught between a harrowing past and an uncertain future
HATAY, Turkey, 10 May 2012 – In a quiet house outside Antakya in southern Turkey, parents fleeing 14 months of violence in Syria have set up a makeshift school for their children. The sounds of lessons in maths, English, Turkish and the Koran ring through the living rooms and bedrooms, and the garden has become a lively playground.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon cope with hardships, fear for their families at home
AL FAQIHA, Lebanon, 7 May 2012 – The little hilltop town of Al Faqiha is located in one of the more remote corners of the Bekaa Valley, a fertile swath of land along Lebanon’s eastern frontier. It’s also the region closest to Syria, Lebanon’s troubled neighbour, making it a natural refuge for Syrian families seeking sanctuary from the unrest in their homeland.
UNICEF supports Syrian refugees seeking safety in Lebanon
RAMEH, Lebanon, 24 April 2012 – With a sigh, Siham* glances around the small room that is now home to her, her husband and their five children.
Syrian children in Lebanon pick up the pieces of the educations they left behind
MASHTA EL HAMMOUD, Lebanon, 17 April 2012 – Stepping off their minibus in the mountain village of Mashta el Hammoud, in northern Wadi Khaled, a group of children scampers up the stone steps to their classrooms. While the prospect of maths and Arabic classes may not seem attractive, there’s no mistaking these youngsters’ eagerness for the afternoon that lies ahead.
In Jordan, UNICEF-supported activities help Syrian refugee children recover from the conflict
MA’AN, Jordan, 22 March 2012 – Peering intently at the scrap of pink material in her hands, 12-year-old Omaima* is a picture of concentration. Around her, about 20 other girls are busily wielding needles and thread and following the instructions of their teacher.
In Jordan, UNICEF and partners offer services to help refugee children recover from conflict in Syria
MA’AN, Jordan, 8 March 2012 – On a cold February day, Syrian refugee children and their parents gathered at the Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) Centre, a UNICEF partner, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Syria following the report of the independent international commission of inquiry
NEW YORK, USA, 23 February 2012 – “UNICEF is appalled by the impact on children of the escalating violence in Syria.
Displaced Syrian children in Jordan show signs of distress
RAMTHA, Jordan, 23 December 2011 – As I pull out my camera, Salwa looks at me and blurts out, “No, no pictures, please. Otherwise the police will slaughter us.” She is 5 years old.
Syria launches national ‘catch-up’ immunization drive amid continued unrest
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 October 2011- When the civil unrest began in Syria last march, the small agricultural town of Daraya was one of the first to be impacted. Due to the resulting insecurity, access to the health centers where routine immunization was usually provided became severely limited.
School clubs provide normalcy for children affected by unrest in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 6 September 2011 – Civil unrest has disrupted normal life in Syria since mid-March, taking a serious emotional toll on children, in particular. Between witnessing violence and having their family lives and routines upended, children are paying a heavy price.
Regional Director sees progress towards development goals with equity in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 1 February 2011 – Syria is making laudable progress towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals by their 2015 target date, according to UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Shahida Azfar, who recently visited Damascus and its environs.
UNICEF supports new curriculum and training to help overhaul Syria's schools
DAMASCUS, Syria, 29 December 2010 – “Repeat, repeat, repeat.” These three words used to be the mantra of a Syrian schools system built primarily on rote learning. But the launch of a new curriculum implemented by the Ministry of Education is effectively chipping away at those foundations – replacing them with something stronger and more sustainable.
Study tour from North Caucasus explores Syria’s new approach to youth
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 October, 2010 – At first glance, Syria and the North Caucasus would seem to have little in common. But beyond the different cultures, people and histories, interest in youth development is increasing and making a significant impact in both places.
Promoting breastfeeding remains a top health priority in Syria
LATAKIA, Syrian Arab Republic, 21 October 2010 – Syrian mother Jenna Mouna is well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding her newborn. Having given birth in a UNICEF-supported baby-friendly hospital, she’s being well taken care of by healthcare workers trained in a 10-step programme designed to promote breastfeeding.
UNICEF workshop determines to tackle child labour problem in Syria
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 15 October 2010 – As the latest link in an unbreakable cigarette chain burns along his oil-yellowed fingers, Syrian mechanic Abu Hamid explains his predicament.
In Syria, regional Special Olympics games empower children living with disabilities
DAMASCUS, Syria, 11 October 2010 – Like other countries in this region, Syria has long wrestled with how best to meet the needs of its citizens living with disabilities. The seventh Middle East and North Africa Regional Special Olympics, held recently in Damascus, indicated that Syria has chosen to celebrate persons with disabilities and work towards inclusiveness.
Life skills courses brighten the future for Syrian Arab Republic's refugees
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 1 September 2010 – Ibrahim, a refugee from Iraq, admits that he hasn’t been this nervous since his arrival in Syria. His eyes flicker around a large room in the heart the Jaramana refugee suburb, which is filled to capacity with other young refugees.
International Year of Youth launches in Syria with colourful events
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 25 August 2010 – At a ceremony in Syria to launch the International Year of Youth, the importance of fostering dialogue and mutual understanding among the country’s youth inspired an enthusiastic response.
Alongside Syrian health workers, UNICEF battles varied causes of malnutrition
AL-HASAKEH, Syrian Arab Republic, 18 August 2010 – Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate is just minutes away from Mosul, one of Iraq’s most violent cities. Yet one of the biggest challenges facing children here is an alarming rise in malnutrition perpetuated by a constant drought.
During concert in Syria, rock sensation Gorillaz visits with young photographers
DAMASCUS, Syria, 30 July 2010 – There was nothing typical about the visit of Gorillaz –one of the world’s biggest rock bands – to Syria, a country that is usually not a top tour priority. But the event was perhaps most unusual for 20 budding photographers from the struggling Damascus refugee community of Bebila.
Breaking the cycle: Iraqi refugee students in Syria need help to go back to school
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 July 2010 – Lulls in conversation with 16-year-old Iraqi refugee Gailan are soon filled with the gentle inhale-exhale of sleep. Outside, the Damascus streets are silent, except for the shuffling of those woken early by the intense morning heat.
UNICEF Syria supports vocational training centre for adolescent refugees at risk
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 22 June 2010 – Rana came to Syria in 2005. She and her family joined the ever-increasing Iraqi community in the Jaramana suburbs of Damascus. Heavily dependent on humanitarian aid and deprived of any regular income, the family exhausted their savings last year, and Rana’s parents had to return to Iraq temporarily.
Syrian students speak out on rehabilitating over-stretched schools
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 June 2010 – When it comes to the needs of the local school, everyone has an opinion.
Janitor-training programme strengthens schools and communities in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 28 May 2010 – With time and constant use, schools get worn out. Natural erosion is caused by the ebb and flow of hundreds of excitable young children. Without proper maintenance, no school building can endure forever.
National Immunization Week in Syria aims for 100 per cent coverage
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 30 April 2010 – Wide-eyed children waited with their mothers as UNICEF-trained health workers prepared to administer their vaccines.
Support for every child’s right to education in Syria
AL-HASSAKAH, Syrian Arab Republic, 21 April 2010 – Schools are similar across the world: boisterous students, playground noise and homework to be done.
Syrian children sing their way to better health and hygiene
AL-HASAKAH, Syria, 12 April 2010 – Songs and poetry have always played a central part in Syrian life, communicating important messages and wisdom across generations.
Syrian students spread the word about safe water
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 March 2010 – The message of World Water Day, celebrated here and around the globe last week, is more pressing than ever in the northern regions of the Syrian Arab Republic, which have received exceptionally low levels of rainfall in recent years.
'Capoeira therapy' brings joy to Iraqi children at a refugee camp in Syria
AL-TANF REFUGEE CAMP, Syria, 12 March 2010 – The closure in February of the Al-Tanf refugee camp on the Syrian-Iraqi border ends one of the most painful chapters in the post-war story of Iraq’s refugee community.
Fundraising cyclists visit UNICEF child-friendly space in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arabic Republic, 23 February 2010 – Fundraisers worldwide go to extraordinary lengths to help UNICEF alleviate child suffering. And going to great lengths is something Andreas, Øyvind and Jørn, three UNICEF fundraisers from Norway, know a lot about.
Adolescents find their identity through photography in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 12 January 2010 – Last summer, a six-week photography workshop invited 24 young people from Syria, Palestine and Iraq to bring their perspectives to issues affecting their region. The participants addressed issues including identity, gender equality, children’s rights and integration. Thousands of photos emerged, many of which were exhibited in galleries in Damascus and London.
UNICEF and the Embassy of Denmark launch refurbished water plant in drought affected central Syria
SALAMIEH, Syria, 2 December 2009 – Syria is experiencing a severe drought that is jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of families. After a second straight year of poor rainfall, this country in the heart of the fertile crescent is, in places, becoming barren.
New situation analysis report highlights violence against children
DAMASCUS, Syria, 20 October 2009 – After two year’s work, the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs (SCFA) in collaboration with UNICEF has concluded a report on the Situation Analysis of Children (SITAN) in Syria.
In Syria, ‘capoeira’ helps Palestinian-Iraqi children heal psycho-social wounds
AL-TANF CAMP, Syrian Arab Republic, 2 October 2009 – In al-Tanf, a refugee camp set up in the no-man's-land near the Syrian-Iraqi border, Palestinian children who have fled the conflict in Iraq participate in various activities designed to help them heal their psycho-social wounds.
UNICEF Syria 'training of trainers' workshops help young Palestinians make a difference
NEIRAB, Syria, 27 August 2009 – During six days of intensive sessions in Neirab, 20 Palestinian adolescents attending a recent UNICEF 'training of trainers' workshop learned various techniques for mobilizing young people to become more involved in their communities.
UNICEF provides a new model of health care for refugees in Syria
HUSSINAYA, Syria, 30 July 2009 – Situated only 14 km from Damascus, the Hussinaya district – home to many Iraqi refugees and other displaced people – feels a long way from the rapid development so visible elsewhere in Syria.
Young people tackle social problems at children’s conference in Syria
ALEPPO, Syria, 24 July 2009 – Hiba, 15, calmly scanned the faces of a large audience gathered in Aleppo’s Sheraton Hotel, expressing her conclusions with a striking level of self-confidence and maturity.
Iraqi refugee children receive psycho-social counselling in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 22 July 2009 – Six-year-old Tareq* clings to his mother’s clothing and waits anxiously for his weekly psychotherapy session. The social worker, the psychologist and Tareq’s mother all encourage the little boy to lift his head up and say hello, but he won’t leave his mother’s lap.
UNICEF Executive Director concludes landmark Syria visit
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 30 June 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman concluded a landmark tour of Syria by commending UNICEF’s Syrian partners for their accomplishments benefiting children and young people.
Supporting better education for Syrian and Iraqi children
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 16 June 2009 – Miriam, 11, is from Baghdad. She has been attending Jerji Toma School since 2008. This year she witnessed a transformation. When she first arrived, she remembers paint cracking off the walls and old school books.
Life skills training gives young Palestinian refugees new hope
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 March 2009 – In the refugee camps of Syria, life for Palestinian adolescents is challenging. Although better off than many in the region—with civil rights almost equal to those of Syrian citizens—poverty, violence and alcoholism are common. Adolescents often lack opportunities to develop important skills relevant to life outside of the camps.
Child-friendly spaces bring hope to Iraqi refugee children in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 10 February 2009 – With as many as 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, it is a struggle to provide basic necessities for people who have left everything behind in their war-torn country. In this setting, the special needs of children can be overlooked.
Classrooms in Syria crowded with Iraqi children whose families have fled conflict
DAMASCUS, Syria, 25 September 2008 – It is the beginning of the new school year in Syria, but a majority of the students are not Syrian. They are Iraqis whose families have fled conflict. When the lives of children like these are turned upside down, going to school can provide the stability they need.
UN schools in Syria serve thousands of Palestinian refugees
DAMASCUS, Syria, 2008 – Palestinian children residing in Husseiniyeh camp here are suffering from overcrowded classrooms and double-shift schools. Faced with staggering challenges outside the classroom, children are now in danger of losing their right to a quality education.
Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo brings a message of peace to Damascus
DAMASCUS, Syria, 30 July 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo performed for the 2008 Damascus World Music Festival last week, delivering a message of peace, hope and protection for all children.
Providing medical services for Palestinian refugees in Syria
JARAMANA, Syria, 21 July 2008 – Noujoud Moh’d is a Palestinian refugee residing in the Jaramana camp in Syria. Like the other 5,000 refugees living in the official camp – as well as the nearly 17,000 living outside in an unofficial camp – she and her family endure overcrowded housing, poverty and limited work opportunities.
Adolescent-friendly learning centres support young Palestinian refugees in Syria
HUSEINEYEH CAMP, Syria, 24 June 2008 – If Aziza Melkash were not in this yellow-curtained room among 31 other teenagers intently discussing research findings, she would be holed up at home with little to do and nowhere to go.
Immunization campaigns reach out to Syria’s vulnerable children
QARAHTA, Syria, 18 March 2008 – Barely 10 months old, Sundus has her mother Aida’s eyes: dark brown, with a hint of turquoise at their centres. Sitting on her mother’s lap, Sundus looks peaceful amidst the bustle of an immunization point in Qarahta, 20 km from the capital, Damascus.
Regional Director Sigrid Kaag visits Syria and says the country is on track for children
DAMASCAS, Syrian Arab Republic, 25 February 2008 – After a recent three-day trip to Damascus, Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), noted that Syria is on track to achieve major progress for children.
Syria tightens entry requirements for Iraqi refugees as population pressure builds
NEW YORK, USA, 21 February 2007 – As Syria tightens entry regulations for refugees crossing the border from Iraq, UNICEF and its partners continue to advocate for humanitarian exceptions to the rules.
Uncertain journey for Lebanese refugees returning from Syria
NEW YORK, USA, 18 August 2006 – Thousands of Lebanese refugees who fled to Syria during the month-long conflict between Hezbollah and Israel have been crossing the border again. More than 100,000 have made the journey back to Lebanon since the ceasefire took effect on Monday.
As thousands of Lebanese families head home, UNICEF warns of unexploded bomb danger
NEW YORK, USA, 15 August 2006 – UNICEF is warning that thousands of Lebanese children are at risk from unexploded bombs as they return to their homes in the wake of Monday’s ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
Thousands head home following ceasefire in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 14 August 2006 – Tens of thousands of Lebanese families are returning home, just hours after a ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Hezbollah. UNICEF estimates that some 6,000 people an hour are heading back towards the worst hit areas in the south of the country.