UNICEF supports the most vulnerable families in Aleppo through cash-based programme

Aiming to reach the families of more than 22,000 children affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 resulting restrictions.

UNICEF
25 November 2020

Almost ten years into the Syrian conflict, violence, displacement and a deteriorating economic situation have cost thousands of families their livelihoods and depleted their financial resources, leaving them unable to provide their children’s most basic needs such as food and clothing. This in turn increases children’s risk of dropping out-of-school to work and support their families. The needs of already vulnerable families have been further compounded by COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions.

Two girls showing new clothes in fron of them
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
“It’s been a long time since we got new clothes,” says Alaa (right), 10, while checking out her new winter clothes with her sister Walaa, 8. Their mother, Aisha, 40, is barely able to provide for her family, especially after her husband passed away five years ago. Aisha used to sell bread on the street so she would be able to feed her four daughters. Increasingly unable to provide for her daughters, Aisha had to take the difficult decision of marrying off her eldest daughter at the age of 13, while her other daughter dropped out of school to work in a nearby field and help her mother put bread on the table.
Two girl reading on floor
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
Aisha (right), 10, and her sister, Walaa, 8, doing their homework at their house in in Al-Ansari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria. The two girls were able to stay in school because of the UNICEF-supported cash assistance.
little girl studying
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
“I want to be a teacher when I grow up just like my father wanted,” says Walaa, 8, who is now able to stay in school and pursue her dreams because of the UNICEF-supported cash assistance, through which she purchased her textbooks, stationery and new winter clothes.

 

“All I want is to continue to go to school and live a normal life,”

Douaa, 10
girl walking with school bag on her back
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
“All I want is to continue to go to school and live a normal life,” says Douaa, 10, who was born with one kidney. Douaa’s entire life has revolved around a costly treatment, leaving her family barely able to secure their basic needs. Making his living as a taxi driver, Douaa’s father was unable to work for a long time due to COVID-19 lockdown, accumulating debt from relatives. With the UNICEF-supported cash assistance, Douaa’s family is able to afford her monthly medication and treatment as well as textbooks and stationery for school.
boy and girl studying at home
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
Walaa, 9, and her brother Mohammad,7, doing their homework at home in Al-Ansari neighborhood in Aleppo city. “I almost didn’t enroll my children in school this year because I didn’t have enough money to buy their uniforms and books,” says Marwa, their mother. After her husband passed away a few weeks ago, she found herself struggling with financial burdens with her three children. With the UNICEF-supported cash assistance, Marwa was able to enroll her two children in school and buy them uniforms, textbooks and stationery. She was also able to buy diapers and formula for her nine-month-old baby boy.
girl studying at home
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
“I was so sad that I might miss another year of school,” says Walaa, 9, who had missed out on two years of learning while her family was on the move due to violence. With the UNICEF-supported cash assistance, Walaa was able to stay in school.
girl giving baby a feeding bottle
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
Walaa, 9, likes to help her mother taking care of her nine-month-old brother Malek.
girl and boy students walking with school bags and uniform
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Antwan Chnkdji
Walaa, 9, and her brother Mohammad,7, walk back home from school in Al-Ansari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria. Mohammad was injured by a shell that hit their house five years ago and had to undergo surgery to place a metal rod in his leg so he could walk again. With the UNICEF-supported cash assistance, the two children are able to stay in school.

To help vulnerable families in impoverished urban areas in Aleppo secure their basic needs, UNICEF launched a cash-based programme in June 2020 that provides a one-time cash transfer to ease their financial burdens, aiming to reach the families of over 22,000 children in Aleppo.