Statement attributable to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative for Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 7 November 2014 – The attack on the Al Hayat Primary School in the district of Qaboun in eastern Damascus on Wednesday killed 11 children and injured many more – yet another horrific reminder of the terrible price Syria’s children are paying in a brutal conflict now well into its fourth year.
The Qaboun assault is the latest in a series of indiscriminate attacks on schools, teachers and students. In the first nine months of 2014 alone, the United Nations in Syria has verified at least 35 such incidents that killed 105 children and injured 293. The real numbers are surely higher, and there are indications that attacks in some areas may have been deliberate.
UNICEF has repeatedly called upon all parties to the conflict to uphold their responsibility to protect children, schools, and other civilian infrastructure from the conflict. Schools should be zones of peace and safe havens where children can learn without fear of death or injury. All parties to the conflict have specific obligations under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws to afford children special protection.
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 in developing countries.
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 more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.