Syrian children seeking safety and shelter freeze to death while crossing from Syria to Lebanon

The world has no excuses! We cannot continue failing Syria’s children Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

20 January 2018
After six years of war in Syria, winter is the latest threat to children. In rural Quneitra in the south of the Syrian Arab Republic, 400 families that are displaced by fighting live in makeshift shelters made with blocks, plastic sheets and tin. With extremely limited resources and amid heavy snowfall, these families continuously fight for their lives.
“I don’t like the camp because it’s too cold and it’s full of mud. I wish I could live in a home instead of the tent,” says Laith, 6, as he stands on a snow-covered road near a camp for internally displaced people in rural Quneitra, Syrian Arab Republic, Saturday 28 January 2017.


AMMAN, 20 January 2018- “It is tragic that at least 12 Syrians including two children died in Eastern Lebanon near the Masna’ border crossing with Syria. 

“Syrian people continue to risk their lives and the lives of their children in a desperate search for safety and shelter.

“Our thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones, victims of a war that soon enters its eight year.

“More children could be among the dead as residents in the area and the Lebanese authorities continue to look for people who are reportedly trapped in the mountainous in freezing temperatures and snow.

“Children in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, the State of Palestine, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt and in many other countries across the globe living in conflict or impacted by conflict struggle every winter to keep warm.

“UNICEF and partners are helping families to cope with the harsh weather. UNICEF is distributing blankets, warm clothes, and fuel to heat schools.

“The death of these two Syrian children is however a reminder that much more needs to be done.

“The brutal wars have to stop and we all need to step up our generousity and assistance for the most affected children. We have no excuse. We cannot continue failing children!"


Note to Editors 

  • Since the start of winter, UNICEF has been helping families to cope with the harsh weather.
  • As part of its package of assistance to families in need, UNICEF is distributing blankets, warm clothes, and fuel to heat schools in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and the State of Palestine,
  • Funding constraints are challenging UNICEF’s ability to continue this assistance.  So far, UNICEF received only half of the funding needed for winter response.
  • If urgent funding is not received, UNICEF will not be able to reach nearly 800,000 children with winter assistance.

Media contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Office
UNICEF in Amman
Tel: +962 79 867 4628
Hedinn Halldorsson
UNICEF Lebanon
Tel: +961 81 69 69 90


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