Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, on the children of Deir Ez Zor

23 January 2017

DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 23 January 2017 – “Children living in the besieged city of Deir Ez Zor have come under intense attack in the past week.

“The escalation of violence threatens the lives of 93,000 civilians, including over 40,000 children who have been cut off from regular humanitarian aid for over two years.

“Indiscriminate shelling has reportedly killed scores of civilians and forced others to remain in their homes. Food prices have skyrocketed to levels five to ten times higher than in the capital, Damascus. Chronic water shortages are forcing families to fetch untreated water from the Euphrates River, exposing children to the risk of waterborne diseases. The siege risks worsening the already dire nutritional status of children.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately lift all sieges and allow unimpeded and unconditional access to children in Deir Ez Zor and in all the 15 areas under siege across the country.

“Nothing justifies the use of siege and the untold suffering that it unleashes on children. The children of Syria have already paid the highest price for a war that is not of their making.”

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