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Life-saving supplies reach children and families in conflict-affected Aleppo

2013-07-24

AMMAN/DAMASCUS/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 23 July 2013 – UNICEF and partners have just completed delivery of life-saving supplies to the embattled city of Aleppo in north-western Syria.

The mission, which also included the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and United Nations agencies, was part of a 15-truck convoy that travelled from Damascus to Aleppo. UNICEF’s supplies included diarrhoeal disease kits to treat 30,000 people, medical kits for 20,000 people, 2,000 family hygiene kits, cooking stoves, high energy biscuits and school supplies.

“The humanitarian situation in Aleppo is desperate,” said Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director who was on a two-day visit to Damascus last week. “Our goal is to reach children who most need our assistance, no matter where they are.” 

Aleppo has the highest number of affected people in the country at least 2.4 million people. According to UNICEF, half of these are children.

“Humanitarian needs, especially for food, water and shelter, are very severe,” said Ahmedou Bahah, who accompanied the convoy as head of UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme in Syria.

UNICEF delivered five generators and eight water tanks that will provide safe drinking water to more than 1 million people in Aleppo. The installation of these generators has already begun.

With the conflict in Syria in its third year, living conditions, especially in the worst affected areas, have become deplorable. Prices have tripled or quadrupled, impacting the provision of basic supplies and households’ purchasing power. Families are struggling to provide their children with basic supplies including bread, vegetables and fruits, milk, yogurt and eggs.

Since the beginning of the year, UNICEF has participated in 20 United Nations convoys, 15 of which were to areas controlled by opposition groups.

Through these and other missions, UNICEF and partners provided 10 million people with access to safe drinking water, vaccinated 1.5 million children, enrolled more than 300,000 children in schools and supported more than 450 school clubs where children receive the support needed to overcome some of the horrors they have witnessed.

Note to the editors: In addition to UNICEF and SARC, the Aleppo mission included the following agencies: World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Health Organization (WHO) United Nations Refugee Agencies (UNHCR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.