UNICEF in a $20 million gap in funding of the total $22.44 million to reach 435,000 children.

Without immediate support, thousands of children will be at risk as the cold winter weather begins to set in.

UNICEF
woman holding a baby
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
07 January 2021

“I sold my wedding ring to get some fuel to keep the baby warm,”

Sanaa,

Almost two years since violence escalated in Afrin district in northwestern Syria, pushing over 200,000 people to flee their homes for safety, families continue to live in unfinished buildings, makeshift camps and even out in the open in several areas in northern rural Aleppo, including Tall-Refaat, Fafin, Nabul and Zahraa. In Fafin camp, over 3,000 people live in tents in basic conditions, with little to fend off the cold and rain.

woman carrying a baby in a tent
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
Sanaa, holding her 15-day old baby inside their tent at Fafin camp in northern rural Aleppo. “We sleep side by side while holding my newborn baby to keep ourselves warm,” says Sanaa, who was forced to flee her home in Afrin as violence escalated back in 2018 alongside thousands of other families, arriving at the camp with the clothes on her back. “When it rains, I feel like I can’t breathe due to the heavy pressure the rain creates on the tent. It starts seeping and we run to save our few belongings from getting soaked,” she adds. While Sanaa and her family have a heater, fuel is too expensive. “I sold my wedding ring to get some fuel to keep the baby warm,” explains Sanaa.

“We sleep side by side while holding my newborn baby to keep ourselves warm,”

Sanaa,
woman and children standing outside a tent
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
Sanna Infront of her tent with her daughter and children from a neighboring tent at Fafin camp, northern rural Aleppo.
woman with children outside a tent
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
Sanna playing with children from a neighboring tent at Fafin camp, northern rural Aleppo.
woman and children sitting outside a tent
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
“The clothes we fled with have turned into rags; they can no longer keep us warm!” says Farida, looking at her two children. “All I think of is how to keep them warm this winter,” she adds. For many families in Fafin camp, northern rural Aleppo, securing winter clothes or heaters to keep their children warm has become a dream. “My children are outgrowing their clothes fast; we adults can manage but what about them?” she asks.

“The clothes we fled with have turned into rags; they can no longer keep us warm!”

Farida, mother of two children
Two children in a camp
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
Displaced children from Afrin playing in Fafin camp northern rural Aleppo, Syria.
children playing
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Ali Almatar
Displaced children from Afrin playing in Fafin camp northern rural Aleppo, Syria.

UNICEF is planning to reach over 435,000 children up to 14 years of age, including vulnerable newborn babies, across Syria. However, with $20 million gap in funding of the total $22.44 million UNICEF requires to reach these children, thousands of children may be not be able to stay warm this winter.