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UNICEF NZ welcomes extra govt support for Syrian crisis

UNICEF NZ welcomes extra government support for Syrian crisis

UNICEF NZ Emergency Appeal. Donate at: www.unicef.org.nz/syria

UNICEF New Zealand has welcomed the New Zealand Government’s announcement today that it will commit an additional $5 million to UNICEF operations in Lebanon and Jordan to help children affected by the Syrian conflict.

UNICEF NZ Executive Director, Dennis McKinlay said, “The scale of this humanitarian crisis is unprecedented, with millions of people affected – at least half of them are children. We are pleased and grateful that the Government has recognised the severity and the urgency of the situation and responded accordingly.”

The funds will go towards UNICEF’s education and health programmes for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan – where nearly 1.4 million refugees have fled. “The conditions facing children and their families are grim at best, especially given that the region is now experiencing the coldest winter in a decade. They are living in tents and camps in sub-zero temperatures. They need food, warm clothes, medicines, blankets – and they need hope.”

“The funding announced by the Government will be used to help get children back into school, to protect them from exploitation and to provide psychological care. Some of these children have seen their families and friends killed and lost their schools and homes. They will need all the support we can give them to return to any kind of normalcy.”

Earlier this month, UNICEF, Save the Children, UNHCR and World Vision launched the No Lost Generation campaign, calling for a US$1billion investment and for governments, aid agencies and members of the public to become champions for the children of Syria. The campaign aims to provide those affected by the conflict with the chance to shape a more stable and secure future.

“New Zealanders have been very generous in donating to our appeal for Syria, but so much more is needed. We need to act now to ensure we don’t lose an entire generation and any chance of future peace for the region,” Mr McKinlay said.

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