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Services for refugees fleeing war in Syria

4 September 2013 For Immediate Release


Save the Children funding essential services for refugees fleeing war in Syria

Save the Children New Zealand is very pleased to have received New Zealand government funding to support a critical health, sanitation and hygiene programme for Syrian refugees living in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. Under the scheme announced by government earlier this week, the government will match Save the Children’s fundraising dollar for dollar up to $65,000. Save the Children launched an appeal for Syrian refugees earlier this year (www.savethechildren.org.nz).

Heather Hayden, chief executive of Save the Children New Zealand, said, “This is a huge boost in our effort to help Syrian refugee children who have been caught up in the current disaster and have had to flee across the border into Lebanon. It will help us save lives through a very practical hygiene and sanitation programme. This is crucial for reducing the impact and spread of disease.”

“As the number of people fleeing Syria continues to grow, it is exerting great pressure on the infrastructure of the surrounding nations, of which Lebanon is one. These countries are not equipped in any way to deal with the hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding over their borders within a short period of time.”

Syrian families who have escaped to Lebanon are struggling to find shelter in makeshift camps or half-ruined buildings, in many cases without access to clean water or sanitation.

Save the Children’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project aims to improve the health and hygiene of up to 600 vulnerable Syrian refugees by providing:

· latrines with hand washing stations, and/or extending sewage pipelines

· good drainage in settlements

· solid waste collection and disposal in settlements.

“New Zealanders who give to help displaced Syrians can feel very proud of supporting people who have been forced by the civil war to live in such appalling circumstances,” says Ms Hayden. “Every dollar spent on this programme will help save the lives of people who have no other options now that they have been forced to leave their own country.”

Ms Hayden says the timing of the government funding could not have been better, with the announcement this week that the number of refugees who have fled Syria is now over two million, with one million of these children. There are approximately three quarters of a million refugees in Lebanon.

Save the Children is fundraising to provide increased support to Syrian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.

“People have been very generous, but the need is huge and conditions are worsening every day that the civil war continues.”

The public can contribute to this emergency relief through the Save the Children website at www.savethechildren.org.nz/see/emergencies/syria-crisis/ or 0800 167 168.


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