Japan contributes US$7 million to bolster education, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in crises-affected areas in Syria

More than 600,000 vulnerable people to benefit from increased provision of essential services

19 December 2023
Girls washing their hands at a handwashing station.
UNICEF/UNI488033/Hussam Dabaan

Zeina, 13, and her friend Sham wash their hands in the yard of a UNICEF-rehabilitated school in Irbeen, Rural Damascus.

DAMASCUS, 19 December 2023 – The Government of Japan has contributed approximately US$ 7 million to UNICEF to provide vulnerable children and their families in areas affected by the earthquakes and the ongoing conflict in Syria clean water, good sanitation, hygiene supplies, and education services.

“Japan remains committed to support conflict- and earthquake-affected children in Syria,” said Hirofumi Miyake, Charge d’Affaires and Special Coordinator for Syria. “With this contribution, we aim to address not only the emergency but also long-term needs, giving more children in Syria access to the most basic needs of their lives such as education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).” 

Prior to the deadly earthquakes that struck on 6 February 2023, children in Syria were already struggling to cope amid 12 years of sustained conflict. The systems underpinning access to essential services for children were flailing. The earthquakes exacerbated the situation by causing extensive damage to the critical infrastructure and affecting more than 8.8 million people, including 3.7 million children.

The partnership with Japan will help in rehabilitating water facilities (including elevated water tanks, networks, pumping stations, treatment plants) and sanitation networks damaged as the result of the earthquakes. It will increase children’s access to safe learning environments through school rehabilitation and temporary learning spaces, provide non-formal education for out-of-school children and children at risk of dropping out, and build capacity of teachers and education personnel.

“With this valuable contribution from the Government of Japan, we can help to restore systems to deliver essential basic services for more than a half million of children and their families, leaving no child behind, and bolster the communities’ resilience,” said Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF Syria Representative.

The Government of Japan is UNICEF’s longstanding and valued partner. The Government of Japan is among UNICEF’s top donors and contributed about USD 49.9 million between 2020-2023 to support vulnerable children and families in Syria.

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