UNICEF and sister agencies issue largest ever appeal to help Syrians
NEW YORK, 7 June 2013— As the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continues to spiral out of control, UNICEF and its sister United Nations agencies have mounted the largest ever appeal for funds.
Syrian children with disabilities struggle with life in a refugee camp
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 29 May 2013 – Rania dreams of one day becoming a teacher. Every morning, her mother and brother wake up at dawn to help her get to school. Although it’s only a short walk, Rania is unable to make it on her own. White gravel surrounds the tents and caravans in the camp where they live, and Rania needs to be carried to the main road where her wheelchair will work.
With a rising refugee population, a camp at risk of disease
DOMIZ, Iraq, 22 May 2013 – The Domiz refugee camp, which sits about 60 kilometres from the Syrian border amidst an imposing mountain landscape, was originally built to accommodate 22,000 people. Today it is home to around 40,000 Syrian refugees.
Schools across Jordan provide hope for Syrian refugee children
IRBID, Jordan, 2 May 2013 – Eleven-year-old Hanin proudly arranges her artwork on the living room floor. Her drawings of brightly coloured flowers reflect happier times.
In Iraq, vaccination campaign reaches thousands of Syrian refugees
DOHUK, IRAQ, 29 April 2013 – “I have just taken my shots, and I did not cry!” says the girl to her brothers and sisters. She holds an ice cream in her hand.
In Jordan, Za'atari refugee camp hosts mass immunization campaign
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 25 April 2013 – As the sun rises over Za’atari refugee camp, gusts of wind blow sand high into the air. Families begin to emerge from between rows of tents that line the camp.
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.
People of Cyprus bring relief - and fun - to Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 22 April 2013 – There’s excitement in the air – hundreds of children are waiting for the official opening of Za’atari refugee camp’s fifth playground.
For young Syrian refugees in Jordan, photography is a record - and an outlet
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 18 April 2013 – At a water tank on the outskirts of Za’atari refugee camp, a couple of boys fill jerrycans with water. Crouching at their side with camera in hand is Amjad Belini. The 17-year-old is one of a group of boys and girls taking part in a three-month photography project managed by Save the Children in partnership with UNICEF.
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).
In makeshift settlements in Lebanon, UNICEF delivers essential supplies to Syrian refugee children
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 25 March 2013 – Children run barefoot across the sharp rocks, broken glass and dirt, as we offload boxes of donated new shoes in the bitter wind.
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.
Burned in an attack and now in exile in Lebanon, Adnan is one of the children at the heart of the Syrian crisis
AKKAR region, Lebanon, 13 March 2013 – When their home in Hama, western Syrian Arab Republic, was hit by a rocket, Adnan’s parents could not manage to take their son out in time. “He did not stay that long in the fire. Not more than two minutes. But the fire was very harsh on him,” his father recalls.
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.
Two years into conflict, Syrian Arab Republic is on the verge of losing a generation to violence
NEW YORK, United States of America, 12 March 2013 – For the past two years, the world has seen crisis explode in the Syrian Arab Republic. Twenty-four months of chaos and conflict have cost the country thousands of lives, many of them children.
Mothers of Za'atari camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 28 February 2013 – Every day, an average of eight children are born as refugees in Za’atari, the largest camp of the Syrian crisis, located approximately 12 km from the border. It has become home to tens of thousands of Syrians.
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.
Protecting separated and unaccompanied Syrian refugee children in Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 19 February 2013 – As the Syrian conflict continues unabated, with 1,850 people crossing into Jordan every day, a small but regular flow of refugees are unaccompanied and separated children.
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.
16-year-old Syrian refugee describes living in Akcakale camp in Turkey
AKCAKALE CAMP, Turkey, 14 February 2013-It was three in the morning when Hala, age 16, and her family fled their home in Syria for Akcakale refugee camp in Turkey. The camp, situated in Sanliurfa, is one of 15 camps built by the government of Turkey for Syrian families seeking refuge from the conflict in their homeland.
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.
Dire situation for children in the Syrian Arab Republic - even where there is no fighting
AMMAN, Jordan, 25 January 2013 – We spoke with UNICEF Regional Emergency Adviser Bastien Vigneau during his mission to Tartous, a key port city in the Syrian Arab Republic, on the Mediterranean Sea.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow asks the world to step up for Syrian refugees
Lebanon, 16 January 2013 – Lebanese communities who have taken Syrian refugees into their homes are setting an example of selflessness and community spirit that the world must match, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow.
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 refugees share their stories with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow during her visit to Lebanon
Wadi Khaled, Lebanon – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow today visited some of the over 200,000 Syrian refugees who have been registered or are awaiting registration in Lebanon.
Syrian refugee children adjust to their new Lebanese schools
SIDON and BAALBECK, Lebanon, 8 January 2013 - Abdullah says that hygiene issues forced him to leave his country. At least, this version of his family’s flight is the one he prefers.
In Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, working with children who have lived through war
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 January 2013 - Jane MacPhail shows me a mountain of drawings done by Syrian refugee children at the camp. We go through them together, and I notice that they are mostly happy images with no guns, tanks or blood.
In Jordan, a campaign to vaccinate against polio and measles reaches 132,000 children
AMMAN, Jordan, 2 January 2013 – According to the Ministry of Health, more than 132,000 children have been vaccinated against measles and polio in northern Jordan as part of a joint UNICEF and Ministry of Health vaccination campaign.
A 'winterization' programme targets Syrian refugees caught in the clutches of brutal weather in Lebanon
BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON, 21 December 2012 - In Dalhamieh, a small village in the Bekaa Valley, Syrian refugees are streaming into an informal camp, where their makeshift tents multiply daily. As of 19 December, this informal camp had sheltered about 698 refugees, of whom 86 were children under 2 years old.
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.
In Jordan, young Syrian refugees meet to discuss their concerns and receive guidance and support
AMMAN, Jordan, 13 December 2012 - Rahaf, 19, was studying to be a doctor in the Syrian Arab Republic before she fled to Jordan one month ago. She and her family were reluctant to leave their home in Dera’a until a bomb blast killed her two sisters and injured her oldest brother. “After that, my parents saw there was nothing to do but get away,” she says.
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.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children learn how to recover from a violent past
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - When Syrian refugee children show UNICEF child protection worker Jane MacPhail pictures they have drawn of revenge and violence, she knows what to say.
At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, UNICEF supports Syrian refugee families
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - As the canvas roof of her family’s tent flaps in the wind, Fatma* holds her son close, gently brushing dust from his face.
In Lebanon, UNICEF and partners race to provide clean drinking water and prevent disease
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 23 October 2012 – The large chalkboard is a reminder that the crowded shelter housing Zaineb, her family and more than a hundred other Syrian refugees is actually a school.
At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, as a million litres of clean water arrive each day, focus turns to conservation and future supply of water
AMMAN, Jordan, 22 October 2012 – The Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan is a safe haven for almost 30,000 refugees who have fled conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. Hundreds of people arrive daily.
In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic face new challenges
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 16 October 2012 - Ten-year-old Ahmed* and his family have come to Lebanon from a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian Arab Republic. They fled their camp near Damascus when fighting intensified. One day, Ahmed’s 12-year-old sister Mona had stumbled across a bloody corpse close to their home.
In Jordan, huge water delivery and testing operation meets the life-saving water and sanitation needs of Syrian refugees
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 10 October 2012 - Massive water trucks trundle slowly through Za’atari refugee camp, filling the tanks that supply drinking taps and latrine and shower blocks.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children continue education as first school opens at Za’atari refugee camp
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 8 October 2012 – “I’m very happy that school has started,” says Tabark, 12, who is in her fifth day of class at Za’atari refugee camp’s new emergency school. “I enjoy Arabic and writing the most. I would like to be an Arabic teacher.”
In Lebanon, Child Friendly Spaces provide a safe environment of learning and play for Syrian refugee children
TRIPOLI, Lebanon, 25 September 2012 – “When my school was destroyed, my dream of becoming a doctor was destroyed,”says Asu*, 11. He is sitting in the courtyard of the Wadi Annakhle public school, outside Tripoli, which is housing Syrian refugees. He looks down. “There was a lot of shooting and bombs where we lived in Syria, and even the mosque was destroyed. It was terrible, and I saw homeless children in the streets, children who didn’t have food.”
As population in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan soars, focus is on needs of children
AMMAN, Jordan, 11 September 2012 - Maradi pushes her 2 1/2-year-old son Safwan on a swing while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sofian. Safwan’s twin brother Omran is back in their tent with Maradi’s husband.
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.
Syrian refugees struggle to adapt to new surroundings in Za’atari camp
ZA'ATARI, Jordan, 17 August - The number of Syrian refugees crossing to Jordan is rising. To date, more than 7,000 people live in the tented Za’atari camp in Mafraq, north of Jordan. They are battered with frequent sand storms, hot weather and lack of natural shade.
Battling dust storms and the burning desert sun to meet the most basic need of the displaced - water
Za’atari, Jordan, August 17, 2012 - Eleven year old Abdullah stares silently at his dust covered toes under the scorching afternoon sun in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp.
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.
Education of water rationing for Syrian refugees in Jordan
RAMTHA, Jordan, 5 August 2012 - As Syrians pour into Jordan, work is underway not only to provide essential safe water and sanitation, but to make sure the water lasts. Jordan is the fourth most water scarce country in the world and the influx of people is putting a strain on an already limited water supply.
Child Friendly Spaces Restore Normalcy in Syrian Children’s Lives
HERMEL, Lebanon, 20 July 2012 – 13-year-old Hiba* has a determination rarely seen in a child of that age. “I want to go back home, I loved it back there in Syria,” she says. “For now, I want to do French classes here to be able to go to school. I have lost one year. I do not want to lose another one.” Her classroom in Syria was destroyed by a bomb, an act she witnessed, but she remains strong and looks to the future. “This is all I wish for - to go back to school.”
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.
Aid workers in Jordan race to meet the needs of Syrian refugee families
AL MAFRAQ, Jordan, 9 July 2012 – Funnels of dust race like miniature tornadoes at this former airfield near the town of Al Mafraq, in Jordan’s north.
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 children are on the road to recovery after fleeing ongoing violence in their country
RAMTHA, Jordan, 19 June 2012 – Reem* and her six children fled their home in southern Syria in February after her husband Abood* was abducted by armed men. The children were between ages 5 and 18. “The children were scared and insecure when we first came to Jordan,” Reem said. “When they saw cars [like the one that took their father], they would start screaming.”
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.