World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Winter Aid Supplies to Help Syrians Cope

As Cold Weather Sets in, UN Agencies Deliver Winter Aid Supplies to Help Syrians Cope

New York, Nov 23 2012 12:10PM
United Nations agencies have begun delivering winter packages containing items such as blankets, thermal clothing and hygiene kits for thousands of Syrian families across the country and in neighbouring nations as temperatures begin to drop.

Inside Syria, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has now delivered vital aid packages to some 60,300 families, benefiting more than 300,000 people, spokesperson Adrian Edwards <"http://www.unhcr.org/50af65699.html">told reporters in Geneva. “The goal is to provide such assistance to 500,000 people – or 100,000 families – by the end of this year.”

Each UNHCR family aid package weighs 42 kilograms and contains blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and hygiene materials. Deliveries so far this month have been made to the cities of Hassakeh, Aleppo, Homs, and in and around Damascus, the capital, Mr. Edwards said.

Syria has been wracked by violence, with at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began over 20 months ago. The violence has spawned more than 440,000 refugees, while more than 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is mobilizing more than 100,000 children’s clothing kits and around 160,000 blankets, including baby blankets, for displaced children in Syria and surrounding countries. Each clothing kit includes thermal underwear, long trousers, a woolen sweater, socks, woolen gloves and hat, shoes and a winter jacket.

“Temperatures are falling fast, down to 5 degrees Celsius this week with expected lows around freezing point,” said the agency’s Deputy Representative in Syria, Ettie Higgins. “We urgently need to get clothing and other essential items to the most vulnerable children, no matter where they are.”

UNICEF is particularly concerned about the impact winter will have on children’s health, including increased risk of respiratory conditions. Many of them fled their homes with only summer clothing and are already fragile from the ongoing stress associated with displacement and conflict.

Health supplies that will benefit more than 225,000 children for the next three months are also on their way from UNICEF’s warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, the agency said in a news release. These include half a million school bags, each containing stationery supplies. Further supplies are being sourced within Syria where possible.

“Sourcing supplies from around the world and getting them into Syria is only half the solution,” said Ms. Higgins, adding that UNICEF urgently needs an additional $79 million to support its emergency response in Syria and the four surrounding countries – Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

“We face enormous challenges on the ground because of the security situation, but with our network of dedicated partners we will do everything we can to ensure that children get the warm clothes and blankets that they urgently need.”

UNHCR had previously warned that delivering aid throughout Syria has become increasingly hazardous, and Mr. Edwards noted that there had already been a number of security incidents, including the hijacking of three trucks during the last week of October, which were carrying some 1,500 mattresses, and a fire in an Aleppo warehouse reportedly caused by shelling that resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of aid items.

Both agencies are delivering supplies to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. In Lebanon, UNICEF plans to reach more than 24,000 children with clothing kits and clothing vouchers. In Jordan, 78 heated winter tents for use as child friendly spaces and classrooms will be set up over the next month. Solar panels are also being installed at refugee washing centres in both Jordan and Iraq to provide hot water.
Nov 23 2012 12:10PM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news