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Critical Supplies For Syrian Refugee Children Airlifted

Critical Supplies For Syrian Refugee Children Airlifted to Erbil

A plane carrying 100 tonnes of UNICEF emergency supplies to assist Syrian refugee children and families has arrived in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The supplies were urgently airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, to respond to the growing needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq, who now number more than 200,000. Some 50,000 refugees arrived in the last two and a half weeks, half of whom were children.

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ said, “This airlift underlines UNICEF’s unwavering commitment to provide the children of Syria with lifesaving assistance. It comes just in time to meet the urgent needs of children who are traumatised, stressed and in need of vital services.”

The supplies include: water tanks, tap stands, latrine equipment, water purification tablets and testing kits; oral rehydration solution; emergency health and hygiene, early childhood development and recreation kits; school materials; and temporary schools and safe spaces, among other items.

These items come in addition to 12 trucks of supplies, carrying primarily hygiene kits for over 50,000 people, that arrived earlier this week from UNICEF’s warehouse hub in Mersin, Turkey, as well as an additional four trucks of emergency materials that arrived from Baghdad, Iraq.

“All of these items are part of a first wave of supplies that will massively scale-up UNICEF’s emergency response to the growing number of Syrian refugee children and families in Iraq,” stated Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq.

The majority of supplies were made possible by a $5.8 million contribution from the Government of Kuwait as well as an in-kind contribution from UPS, a long-standing partner of UNICEF, which provided support toward the airlift cost from Copenhagen.

UNICEF is working closely with the Kurdistan Regional Government, UNHCR, other UN agencies, and international and national NGOs to deliver vital essential services – particularly in the water and sanitation, education, health and nutrition, and child protection sectors - to Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Mr McKinlay added, “New Zealanders have also 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  .”

ENDS

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