Urgent critical action needed to save the lives of thousands of children near Jordan’s north-eastern border with Syria

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

10 October 2018

AMMAN, 10 October 2018 - “In the past 48 hours, a five-day-old boy and a four-month-old girl died in Rukban, near Jordan’s north-eastern border with Syria, where they were without access to a hospital.

“While the UN-supported clinic near the border inside Jordan continues to provide basic health services for urgent life-saving cases, more sophisticated healthcare is required. This is only available in hospitals.

“The situation for the estimated 45,000 people- among them many children-  will worsen further with the cold winter months fast approaching, especially when temperatures dip below freezing point in the harsh desert conditions. 

“The two children in Rukban are among many, many children in Syria and the region who died in a conflict that they have absolutely no responsibility for. Their lives have been cut short, their families forever broken in grief.

“Collectively, we continue to fail to stop the war on children in Syria.

“Once again, UNICEF appeals to all parties to the conflict in Syria and those who have influence over them, to allow and facilitate access to basic services including health for children and families. This is the very minimum for human dignity.

“Above all, it is time to finally put an end to the war on children. History will judge us and the death of children, preventable in many cases, will continue to chase us.”

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