Japan contributes $2.8 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for children in northeast Syria

DAMASCUS, 16 January 2020

A boy fills his jerry can with safe drinking water for his family.
A boy fills his jerry can with safe drinking water for his family.
Over half a million people to benefit from improved access to life saving water, sanitation and hygiene services


DAMASCUS, 16 January 2020 – The Government of Japan has contributed $2.8 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for the most vulnerable children and families in northeast Syria. The contribution will ensure that over half a million people, including families in camps, collective shelters and host communities can benefit from improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

Since October 2019, renewed escalation in hostilities in northeast Syria has created new waves of displacement, compounding existing needs for over 1.8 million people in the area and creating new ones. Some 79 shelters in the governorates of Al-Hasakeh and Ar-Raqqa are hosting around 17,000 people, while the majority of the displaced are within host communities or informal settlements, living in the most basic conditions.

“As we start a new year, children and families in northeast Syria and elsewhere in the country continue to carry the brunt of a conflict not of their choosing,” said UNICEF Syria Representative, Mr. Fran Equiza. “Over 719,000 people in the area– the vast majority of them women and children – have had to flee their homes seeking safety. Water and sanitation are among the most pressing needs in collective shelters for displaced families and within the host community. We thank the people and Government of Japan for their timely contribution to help UNICEF, as the lead WASH sector agency, urgently respond to these needs.”

“Japan remains committed to supporting urgent humanitarian support to children and their families across Syria,” said. Mr. Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Syria. “We strongly hope that our new contribution will benefit the most vulnerable children in northeast Syria with improved access to much-needed WASH services, including safe drinking water.”

Through Japan’s contribution, UNICEF will be able provide access to safe water in camps and collective shelters through emergency water trucking, in addition to the construction and maintenance of latrines and water points and the distribution of much-needed hygiene supplies. In urban centres, UNICEF will utilize the contribution to support repairs of damaged infrastructure and restore interrupted services, to ensure sustainability and resilience of WASH services for both displaced families and the host communities.