Japan increases support to life-saving needs for Syrian children

DAMASCUS, Syria/TOKYO, Japan 13 October 2016


DAMASCUS, Syria/TOKYO, Japan 13 October 2016 – Over one million children in Syria will benefit from the new USD$3.4 million funding made by the Government of Japan, UNICEF said today.    The new donation will bring Japan’s total funding in 2016 to USD$7.8 million to support UNICEF’s humanitarian response in Syria.

“The renewed partnership between UNICEF and the Government of Japan will expand activities to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable children in water, basic hygiene, routine immunization and education,” said Futoshi Matsumoto, Chargé d’Affaires, of the Embassy of Japan in Syria. “Japan will continue to support UNICEF’s efforts to reach all children across Syria with life-saving assistance.”

With the crisis in its sixth year, 13.5 million people, including six million children, need emergency humanitarian assistance in Syria.

The new funding will enable UNICEF to help secure safe drinking water for an estimated 2.5 million people, including 1.1 million children, in Aleppo Governorate, where access to water has been heavily affected by fighting.

“The Government of Japan’s generous contribution could not have come at a more critical time.  Recurrent water shortages continue to threaten millions of children in Aleppo amid surge in violence.  Prolonged cuts in power used to pump drinking water have put children at terrible risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria. “Japan’s new grant is critical in assisting UNICEF to keep safe drinking water flowing and protect children.”

With Japan’s latest contribution, UNICEF will also support the rehabilitation of 28 schools serving an estimated 22,400 children in communities heavily affected by the conflict in Homs and Hama governorates, ahead of the harsh winter.  Classrooms will be furnished with desks and chairs.

“No child in Syria should be denied their right to education because of the conflict.  UNICEF welcomes the Government of Japan’s commitment to support education for Syrian children.  Education offers children hope and the skills they need to build their shattered communities when peace returns to their country.” said Singer.