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UNICEF calls for the protection of children affected by crisis in Syria

2012-04-20

Geneva, 20 April 2012: UNICEF says its deeply concerned over the continued suffering of children caught up in the crisis in Syria, and is calling for additional funds to address the needs of Syrian children now sheltering in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

At a meeting in Geneva of the Syria Humanitarian Forum, UNICEF Deputy Director of Emergency Programmes, Dermot Carty, said children and young people account for 50% of all refugees crossing into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

“UNICEF is extremely concerned by reports from interviews with children and parents on the ground that the majority of children are traumatized and experiencing signs of grave distress,” said Mr Carty. “We call on all parties involved to protect children from the physical and emotional consequences of violence and displacement.”

Mr Carty stressed UNICEF’s support for the Regional Response Plan (RRP) led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), adding that, with the continued influx of refugees, more funding was urgently needed.

Since the launch of the RRP in March, UNICEF has received less than USD $1.5 million against its total requirement of USD $7.4 million.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

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.