Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, on the evacuation of children from an orphanage in East Aleppo
AMMAN, December 19, 2016 – “This morning, all 47 children trapped in an orphanage in east Aleppo were evacuated to safety, with some in critical condition from injuries and dehydration.
“The evacuation of these orphans, along with thousands of other children from east Aleppo in the past days is a glimmer of hope amid a grim reality for the children of Syria. Their safe departure is a testimony to the relentless efforts of humanitarians on the ground, working around the clock for children and their families.
“UNICEF and partners are assisting in reunifying recently evacuated children with their families and in providing them with urgently needed medical care and winter clothes.
“Many vulnerable children – including other orphans and children separated from their families – still remain in east Aleppo and need immediate protection. UNICEF reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect children, wherever they may be.
“The conflict in Syria is nearing its sixth year. It has uprooted millions, separated families and deprived children of the very basics for survival - and their childhood.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to strive for an immediate political solution to this war. The lives of millions more children depend on it.”
UNICEF Canada issues urgent appeal for donations to Syrian crisis:
Mr. Cappelaere’s statement comes as UNICEF Canada issues an urgent appeal to Canadians for donations to the Syrian crisis. The agency has more than 200 staff inside Syria responding to this crisis, along with a regional response that is reaching millions of the most vulnerable children and families in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Inside Syria, as people continue to flee the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, UNICEF is on the ground working to reach these displaced children and families with the life-saving supplies they need to survive the brutal winter. Some children have lost or become separated from their families, leaving them even more vulnerable.
UNICEF is calling on Canadians to donate at unicef.ca/Syria