AMMAN, 24 September 2019 – UNICEF aims to reach 1.1 million children in the Middle East and North Africa to help counter the risk of illness, school absence or severe cold due to the anticipated harsh weather and temperatures dropping to below zero in some areas. UNICEF’s winter response will provide lifesaving winter assistance to children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the State of Palestine, Syria, and Turkey.
“Long conflicts and displacement are making humanitarian needs for children more acute than ever. Many children were forced to flee their homes, some multiple times. They all live in dire circumstances,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Timely protection against the cold is needed now ahead of winter before vulnerable children are faced with dreadful consequences.”
With limited resources and hardly any access to health care, millions of children around the region are vulnerable to serious cold weather-related illnesses. Displaced families living in basic conditions in camps or crowded shelters are unable to afford basic supplies to protect their children against the cold.
This year, UNICEF is urgently requesting support way ahead of the arrival of winter to enable UNICEF and partners to reach nearly 1.1 million children with over half a million winter clothing kits, including jackets, trousers, gloves, hats, shoes, socks, scarves, thermal blankets, heating, lifesaving medical supplies, and providing heating for classrooms so children can continue to access education in a warm environment.
Last year, and with unwavering support of donors, UNICEF was able to reach 850,000 children with a package of services and supplies for winter. This year, UNICEF calls on its donors, as well as the private sector and philanthropic organisations around the globe to generously support UNICEF’s winterization efforts to help children across the region.