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Impending winter brings yet another tragedy Syria

5 November 2015

Impending winter brings yet another tragedy for the children of Syria
Donate at:www.unicef.org.nz/syria
Text WARM to 2923 to make a $3 donation

Children and families affected by the Syrian crisis, will this year be bearing up once again for the onset of another harsh winter.

The upcoming winter season will be even more challenging for Syrian families as the humanitarian crisis continues to further deteriorate. UNICEF is aiming for 2015 to be the largest winterisation response since the start of the conflict, but we need New Zealanders support in order to make this a reality.

Millions of people forced to leave their homes, communities and often countries too, will be pushed to breaking point over the next few months. With what little possessions they have remaining, they need to find a way to survive bitterly cold and snowy conditions.

This will be the case for millions across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq and also for hundreds of thousands more who have started the treacherous journey to reach Europe.

"As we look ahead to summer here in New Zealand, children in Syria and the region are bracing for another bone-chilling winter, one they are desperately ill-prepared for," said Vivien Maidaborn, UNICEF New Zealand's Executive Director. "Supplies are increasingly thin on the ground and what is available is beyond the financial means of the vast majority of families.

"In Syria alone, over 1 million children are desperately in need of urgent help. Children are the most vulnerable to cold conditions and without access to adequate food and nutrients over the last few years, their immune systems are highly susceptible to sickness.
"To prevent illness and further loss of lives, UNICEF is on the ground in Syria and the surrounding countries distributing winter clothing to children, along with special clothing sets and quilts for babies.

"In addition, UNICEF is providing school heaters, fuel and insulation so children can learn in properly heated classrooms. We are also supporting mobile health clinics which will conduct home visits to monitor children’s health and treat respiratory infections."

In winter 2014, UNICEF reached over 800,000 children with winter support. 360,000 received winter clothes, 410,000 children benefited from the distribution of thermal blankets and 40,000 children were kept warm during the school day as result of UNICEF provided school heaters.

Ms Maidaborn added, "Simple things like blankets and warm clothing for children and babies that we often take for granted, are the potentially life saving supplies UNICEF can provide. All clothing is also sourced and produced in-country to bolster the local economies and create jobs.

"We have seen time and time again that this kind of distribution is the most efficient and effective way to get supplies to where they are urgently needed. UNICEF has the ability to purchase in bulk at lower prices and provides cash transfers to help families purchase the items they need.

"For children five years and younger, extreme misery and sorrow is all they have ever known. Winter is fast approaching for Syria’s children and will surely compound this misery and sorrow to even greater extent. UNICEF needs the help of generous Kiwi's to get there first," Ms Maidaborn concluded.

2.6 million children are in need of clothes, winter supplies and services across the Syrian region. UNICEF’s current shortfall for winterisation activity in the region is NZ$98m/USD$63m or 60 percent (NZ$160m/USD$103 originally requested) to ensure the most vulnerable children are equipped with clothing and supplies to survive the winter months.

Donate at:www.unicef.org.nz/syria
Text WARM to 2923 to make a $3 donation
- Ends -


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