The children of Rukban deserve far better

Statement by Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

17 February 2019

AMMAN, 17 February 2019 – “The children in the Rukban makeshift settlement in southern Syria at the border with Jordan, are living in absolutely dire conditions that have no place in the 21st century. While UNICEF welcomes the recent humanitarian convoy to the area, it is far from enough. Children continue to be exposed to the cold and lack almost everything they need for a normal childhood, including basic medical care, education and protection. At least eight children, most of them infants, have died in Rukban since December last year.

“All parties to the conflict have an obligation to find durable solutions to end the many years of suffering that these children have endured. Should warring parties fail to agree on a sustainable plan for these children, UNICEF calls on them to immediately facilitate sustained, unimpeded and unconditional humanitarian access to provide children with the care and support that they urgently need.

“Children’s access to lifesaving services, education and protection should never be used for political ends. The children of Rukban deserve far better.”


Media Contacts

Juliette Touma

Chief of Communication

UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office

Tel: 00962798674628

Tamara Kummer

Communications Specialist

UNICEF Middle East and North Africa

Tel: +962 797 588 550


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