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NZ Government Funding Boosts UNICEF’s Work in Lebanon

Wednesday 4 September, 2013

NZ Government Funding Boosts UNICEF’s Work in Lebanon


UNICEF NZ has welcomed a boost of almost $135k from the New Zealand Government to support a nutrition programme for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. As part of a matched funding partnership, UNICEF NZ will fundraise an additional $135k as part of its Syria appeal to New Zealanders – www.unicef.org.nz/syria

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ, said, “This funding allocation of almost $135k from the New Zealand Government is a fantastic boost to our efforts in supporting Syrian refugee children.

“The funding announcement could not have been timelier as malnutrition becomes a real issue in Lebanon and the number of Syrian refugees entering the country continues to grow rapidly.

“Yesterday the UN announced that the total number of Syrian refugees now stands at two million, with most fleeing to Lebanon. Currently there are 716,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and more than half are children.

“As these numbers continue to rise, food is becoming less available and more expensive. The economic resources of refugees and host communities are becoming increasingly stretched, while the potential for outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases and onset of winter could bring further problems. Recent assessments of newly arrived refugees showed that less than half surveyed were eating three meals a day.

“Syrian refugee children are already vulnerable, having experienced a great deal of physical and emotional trauma after fleeing their home country. The additional threat of malnutrition is a serious one. This funding will make a significant difference in helping UNICEF and partners to prevent and treat malnutrition in children and in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

“With every dollar in this nutrition programme matched by the Government, we are asking New Zealanders to help us ensure that refugee children remain strong and healthy through this difficult time.

“New Zealanders have already responded with huge generosity to UNICEF’s call for urgent donations as our supplies run low, but much more assistance is needed. Donations can be made at www.unicef.org.nz/syria .”

The $270k raised from this funding partnership will go to a project by UNICEF Lebanon and partners to: purchase and distribute nutritional supplements to around 100,000 children and 20,000 pregnant and lactating women, as well as treating an estimated 5,000 children under the age of five for malnutrition. The project will run from September 2013 to March 2014.

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