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.
|With temperatures dipping below freezing point, winter poses a deadly threat to Syrian refugees. "Children are paying the highest price," says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore as he appeals to the international community for urgent help. Watch in RealPlayer|
“Children are paying the highest price,” says Sir Roger in the video message. “They are dying, they are hurt and they need healing.”
Winter amplifies threat
Some 2.5 million people have been affected by months of heavy fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, while more than 500,000 others have fled the country into neighbouring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and North Africa.
Temperatures are quickly dropping, with nights dipping near or below the freezing point.
Many children fled their homes with only summer clothing, and very few belongings. Thousands of children are in temporary shelters and in desperate need of warm clothes and blankets. UNICEF is especially worried about the health of the children, many of whom are already fragile from ongoing stress associated with conflict and displacement, and who are at added risk of respiratory diseases.
|“With your help, we can do more,” says Sir Roger.|
In response, UNICEF has urgently been providing clothes, blankets and medicine to the most vulnerable children inside and outside of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Much more is needed
“With winter setting in – things will get harder,” says Sir Roger, who is perhaps best known for his role as Secret Agent 007 in the James Bond movie series. “UNICEF is there on the ground in Syria and the neighboring countries setting up schools, getting in water and critical supplies and helping children be children again.”
But much more is needed, says the famous British actor, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for more than 20 years.
UNICEF urgently needs an additional $68 million to support its emergency response in the Syrian Arab Republic and surrounding countries.
“With your help, we can do more,” says Sir Roger.