UNICEF Expands its Reach to Displaced Children in the UN Response to Anbar Crisis
Baghdad, 17 February 2014 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered its third shipment of lifesaving supplies and commodities on Sunday to women and children displaced by violence in Anbar Province, leading the joint humanitarian response to the crisis with UNHCR and IOM.
“We, together with other UN sister agencies and the humanitarian community in Iraq, must do everything in our power to support central and local authorities in bringing aid to children and women affected by events in Anbar through a safe and stable humanitarian corridor,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq.
"UNICEF's efforts are now focused entirely on gaining access to all restricted locations where more than 40,000 children need urgent and lifesaving support. Our imperative is delivering essential supplies, goods and commodities for safe drinking water, hygiene, waste disposal, appropriate nutrition and medical care to the most vulnerable and avoiding further tragedy."
Violence in Anbar Province has displaced more than 62,000 families since the beginning of the year and impacted thousands more, as security, infrastructure and the provision of basic services in Fallujah, Ramadi and their environs have steadily deteriorated. Vulnerable children and their families now face precariously low food supplies, poor access to safe water, dangerous sanitation levels, and suspension of education and limited recourse to health care.
In response, UNICEF, in coordination with the UN agencies and local implementing partners, has delivered nearly 500 tonnes of core relief supplies to 90,000 affected women and children. These continuing deliveries include soap, water purification tablets, blankets, and baby hygiene kits, among other life-saving supplies.
Additional UNICEF humanitarian assistance, aimed at improving the capacities of areas where displaced persons are now congregated (schools, mosques, institutes) and host communities, have included trucking of 96,000 litres of safe drinking water per day, installation of latrines and water storage tanks, and provision of water treatment and purification chemicals.
Future UNICEF supply and assistance plans include delivery of a further 300 tonnes of supplies this week alone.
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About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work for the children of Syria, please visit: www.childrenofsyria.info or www.unicef.org/mena.