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Statement by Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Director of Emergencies, at the launch of new UN appeals for Syria

GENEVA, 7 June 2013 – “The Syria conflict is one of the gravest crises facing children anywhere in the world today. Four million children’s lives have been devastated and an entire generation is at risk.

“Despite challenges encountered, UNICEF and partners have significantly scaled up the response inside Syria. Since the start of 2013, more than 10 million people inside Syria have access to drinking and domestic water. One million children have been immunized against measles inside Syria and 600,000 in neighbouring countries.

“In this context, it is important to pay tribute to the incredible resilience of the Syrian people and organizations without which our collective humanitarian efforts would not have succeeded.

“UNICEF is also giving Syrian children in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq access to clean water, vaccinations against lethal diseases, the opportunities to catch up on learning, and to recover from the horrors they have witnessed. Host communities who are also struggling will equally be able to access these services.

“There is still much more to be done. The crisis in Syria is escalating day by day, and the arrival of summer heat is bringing fresh dangers.  Temperatures are rising at a time when safe water is increasingly scarce, and sanitation conditions are worsening.  Children would be especially vulnerable in a public health crisis. 

“This appeal is about saving children’s lives. This is why UNICEF is requesting additional resources. Our current funding gap is about US$300 million in order to maintain the current level of assistance and scale up to meet the ever growing humanitarian needs of children and their families in Syria and around the region.

“Within the overall appeal, our first priority is to provide clean water, adequate sanitation, and vaccinations to protect children against disease. Our other priorities are to help children catch up on schooling they have lost and to protect children against different forms of violence and abuse.

“UNICEF is very grateful to donors who have been so generous in funding our response since the beginning of the crisis. In light of this unprecedented appeal and in the current resource constrained environment, it is important to broaden the donor base including the engagement of the private sector.

“The longer the conflict continues, the more difficult it will be to heal the deep wounds left behind. UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict, and those who have influence on them, to reaffirm the principle that children have no place in war and should be protected from violence at all times.”


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: www.unicef.org

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children: https://www.unicef.org/appeals/index.html

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For more information, please contact:

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: + 4179 756 7703, mmercado@unicef.org

Simon Ingram, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Tel. +962-79-590-4740, singram@unicef.org

Kent Page, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212 326- 7605, kpage@unicef.org




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