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Press centre


Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the life-threatening situation of women and children in Homs

NEW YORK, 2 August 2013 – “The situation of women and children in the Syrian city of Homs is rapidly deteriorating, with some 400,000 civilians now displaced in the district of Al Waer, living in partially constructed buildings, schools and other public buildings.

“In recent days the situation in Al Waer has worsened, with reports of intense daily clashes, and rocket and mortar strikes causing many casualties.

“UNICEF has been aiding partners to distribute nutrition and basic hygiene supplies while striving to maintain sufficient water for the innocent people caught up in the fighting, the majority of whom are women and children. But new checkpoints are preventing more supplies from entering the area. Water and electricity is still available for now but vegetables, milk and other essentials are in increasingly short supply. Our own emergency supplies will run out within days.

“We call on all parties to facilitate immediate safe access to these families so we can provide life-saving assistance, and to allow those families currently trapped in Al Waer who wish to leave to do so in safety and in dignity.

“Cannot all those involved agree that the innocent women and children in Homs, and across Syria, should be spared all possible suffering?”

For more information, please contact: 
Peter Smerdon
Tel: +1 212 303 7984
Mobile: +1 917 213 5188

Sarah Crowe
Tel: +1 212 326 7206
Mobile: +1 646 209 1590

Juliette Touma
UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Amman




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