Japan contributes $2 million to help Syrian children and families cope amid harsh winter

More than 150,000 people to benefit from access to clean water, good hygiene and sanitation, and improved healthcare

21 January 2022
A baby held and wrapped in a blanket to keep warm in Winter. Alepo, Syria
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji

Damascus, Syria 21 January 2022 – The Government of Japan has contributed $2 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for the most vulnerable children and families in Syria. The new contribution will enable 150,000 people to access clean water, good hygiene and sanitation, and improved healthcare during the harsh winter.

Large numbers of conflict-affected Syrian children and families have been displaced and forced to live in camps for the internally displaced or informal settlements. The makeshift tents offer very little protection against the freezing temperatures and heavy rains. Limited amounts of fuel, and lack of means for heating, make it extremely challenging to fend off the cold and many parents are grappling to provide for their children’s basic needs. The COVID-19 pandemic is further worsening the deteriorating situation.

“Most of these children and their families have limited or no access to clean water, food, medicine and shelter. Their suffering will only get worse, and the impact of the winter will be felt long after the cold temperatures recede if we do not act decisively,” said UNICEF Syria Representative, Bo Viktor Nylund. “The continued and timely support from the Government of Japan will enable us to provide children, particularly some of the most vulnerable ones, with lifesaving services and ensure they have a chance to cope,” he added.

With the new allocation, UNICEF and partners will provide host communities and newly displaced people in camps and shelters with access to clean and safe water through emergency water trucking, enhance maintenance of latrines and water points, distribute essential hygiene supplies, and connect camps to nearby sewage networks. In addition, UNICEF will be able to improve healthcare through outpatient consultations and distribution of critical medicine and medical supplies. This will help keep vulnerable children and families healthier and enhance the fight against COVID-19 and other deadly diseases, including respiratory infections, during the severe winter conditions.

 “The Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid for vulnerable refugees and internally displaced people, facing humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries. This will include humanitarian assistance such as provision of health services, safe water, blankets and winter clothes as well as repair of drainage networks. Approximately 150,000 women and children in Syria will benefit from this support. Japan will continue to work closely with the international community toward the settlement of Syrian crisis through improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and advancing the UN-facilitated political process.” said Mr Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Syria.

The new $2 million contribution brings Japan’s funding to UNICEF Syria to a total of $10.9 million for 2021. Beyond the new funding, Japan’s support will improve access to safe learning environment and quality education for vulnerable children in rural Damascus and Aleppo.  It similarly covers the rehabilitation of severely damaged schools, making them gender-inclusive and safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.



Media contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628
Eva Hinds
Chief of Communications
UNICEf Syria


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