You are on page 1of 4

20 June 2013

Children of Syria
Child refugees from Syria

A UNICEF update

June 20 is World Refugee Day. Find out how many children of Syria now live as refugees - and where they are.

The last open road to school
By Modar Sibai HOMS, Syria – The ongoing conflict in Syria has long made it difficult to drop my children off at school. But I never imagined that, one day, all the roads except one would be closed – and that it could keep my daughter from completing ninth grade. We had come too far to let that happen. So we decided to travel on the last road open – an unsafe track that takes you all around the city of Homs, crossing eight checkpoints. Before the conflict, it would take us about 10 minutes to reach the school. On this road, it took at least two hours. Together with other parents, we travelled in a procession of several cars, trying to stay safe. Many people

had told us to forget this year’s exams because of the dangers. But I didn’t want to let my daughter and the other children down after they had spent the whole year studying. So I took the risk. I took it because of the determination and resilience of my daughter Roua,15, and her friends – but it was a decision wrapped in worry and fear of what the day might bring. Every day, Roua thought of what would happen if she didn’t reach the school, if she didn’t sit for the exam after having worked so hard for a whole year. If she didn’t complete the exams, a year of her life would be gone for no reason. Finally, last week, she managed to finish her exams. She had to stay at a friend’s house in the

school’s neighborhood – alone, but determined to get it done. “It felt so terrible,” she later told me. “Waking up without finding my mom who’d wish me luck – and I couldn’t call her because the networks were often not available.” The exams were only a small reminder of what everyone is going through here in Homs – every single day. And what other parents will go through later this month, as the 12th grade exams take place. Will it pass safely? We don’t know, but what I know is that my daughter managed to finish ninth grade. It was a small – but very important – victory in a parent’s endless worry in Syria.

” ©UNICEF/Jordan-2013/Lathigra Arti. The family is now sharing a flat with relatives in the Jordanian city of www. www. so it is our duty to look after it. and people were not always managing waste properly. he signed up immediately. They arrived in Jordan with nothing more than the clothes they were www. The hygiene promotion campaign is run by UNICEF and its partner organization Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). and he has known nothing but fighting.tumblr. “I hope my children have better days than the days that I have lived.” Taha is part of a team of 60 hygiene promoters going tent to tent to speak with people about good hygiene practices.unicef. Combatting risk of disease as summer approaches By Wendy Bruere DOMIZ.Children of Syria 20 June 2013 Faces of the Children of Syria Two-year-old Omrain has been living with his siblings. with training Continued on next page ©UNICEF/Iraq-2013/Bruere Taha talks to children who are designing posters with messages on waste management in the www. who crossed the border from Syria into Iraq 10 months ago. “I could see that the camp needed cleaning.facebook.unicefmena. parents and grandparents in a two-bedroom-flat in Irbid. Iraq– When Domiz resident Taha heard that volunteers were needed to help improve the health and hygiene education in the camp. aged 3. and her family fled Syria four months ago.twitter. “We need everything because we have nothing “. “My little grandson is 2.5. “This camp is our city and our home now. since the family fled Syria in August 2012. Jordan. Arti’s mother says.” said Taha.” his grandmother ©UNICEF/Jordan-2013/Lathigra .

” provided by the Department of Health.000 160. UNICEF has managed to reach children both in Syria and in its neighboring countries with life-saving support.000 82. improving water and sanitation for over 11. “We’re just not keeping up”.tumblr.Figures have been rounded *UNHCR registered refugees and individuals awaiting registration as of 18 June 2013 www.20 June 2013 Children of Syria Largest ever appeal to help people of Syria By Chris Niles NEW YORK— As the situation in Syria continues to spiral out of control. In cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council.000 380. vital services have created chaos and misery. This year children.” said UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Ted Chaiban.8 million people are now affected by the conflict. UNICEF has vaccinated www. More than 200.facebook. men and children are bearing the brunt of this crisis. widespread displacement and the collapse of Continued from previous page UNICEF requires some $470 million until the end of December to maintain its lifesaving support for the children of www. UNICEF and other United Nations and humanitarian agencies have mounted the largest ever appeal for funds.” said United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. we can decrease the risk of outbreaks of diseases like diarrhea and cholera significantly. Lebanon and Turkey. Jordan.unicef.) .com/unicefmena .4 billion dollars for the whole of 2013. “These are massive figures. alone.” UNICEF. but as it escalates. But the needs are outstripping resources at rapid pace. and those who have influence on them.unicefmena. Working with partners. In addition to violence.” Fourcassie said. Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist. who frequently play in the water. to reaffirm the principle that children have no place in war.6 million Syrian refugees are living in neighboring countries such as Refugees by numbers* Lebanon Jordan Turkey Iraq Egypt Total 535. “There is an increased risk of disease in the camp due to a high density of tents. UNICEF also constructed emergency latrines. Ordinary women. with support from the government. Four million Syrian children are in need of immediate assistance. “The humanitarian effort is huge. at risk. which are likely to increase during the hot summer season where temperatures will rise up to the mid40 degrees Celsius. Neighboring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon are struggling to cope with the influx of refugees.000 1. the grey water on some of the camp’s roads can mix with the overflow effluent from septic tanks putting www.“ Additionally. Pierre Fourcassie. insufficient water supply.5 million children against measles and provided more than 10 million people with safe water. Its main focus is to prevent the outbreak of communicable diseases such as diarrhea. said UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe.000 (UNICEF estimates that 50% of these refugees are children. lack of toilets. bathing facilities and water points in the camp’s congested transit areas. They are asking for $4. we have to speed up.twitter.643. poor waste collection. The arrival of summer brings new dangers associated with disease and poor sanitation. but those figures mask a human tragedy.200 refugees. overflow of septic tanks and poor hygiene practices.000 474. UNICEF estimates that 6.000 North Africa 12.” said UNICEF Regional Water.000 children have been enrolled in school. At least 1. ”Through such a combined intervention. is also working on a camp-wide underground drainage system that will largely eliminate the grey water around the camp. “UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict.

000 adolescent boys and girls enrol in its various activities.facebook.” said Nibal Qaddoura. supported by UNICEF. more than 1 million children in Syria were vaccinated against MMR (Measles. UNICEF Middle East and North Africa ©UNICEF/Syria-2013 . nearly 12. 21. a UNICEF staff member.157 were reached with polio vaccines. Turkey A new container site opened in Kilis near the Syrian border and is now admitting Syrian refugee families. Rami*. they are eager to learn new skills and share their knowledge with others. a volunteer. hygiene promoters conducted a one lullrich@unicef. the centre has seen more than menaro@unicef. “In spite of the hard conditions they and their families are going through.unicefmena. Leaving adolescents without any guidance at such time is neither good for them nor for society as a whole.000 students. just passed his 10th grade exam and is now attending a session on the concept of www. Now they are keen to set up smaller mobile teams that will transfer these skills to adolescents in shelters for mobile medical teams in 56 tented settlements since the beginning of May. 16.” said Luay*. I didn’t think that life skills can be learned in displaced persons throughout the province of Homs. Lebanon With UNICEF www.000 people have been treated through For more information: Lisa Marie Ullrich. a total of 65 volunteers took part in a two-week training supported by UNICEF. Since its launch less than two months ago. A group of young men who participate in a training-of-trainers about life Briefs Syria In a UNICEF-supported national vaccination campaign.” The centre has proven popular with adolescents in Homs. it hosts an adolescent friendly space where young people take lessons in English or Computer science and learn how to stay safe in case of fire or a mortar attack. “It is our responsibility to help them in these difficult times. He’s happy hanging out at the centre and acquiring new skills.20 June 2013 Adolescent life in war-ravaged Homs By Alma Hassoun HOMS. Mumps & Rubella) and www. UNICEF and the Ministry of Education officially inaugurated the second school in Za’atari refugee camp with a capacity to host around 5.” *Names have been changed for protection purposes. Most of them are university students determined to help make a difference in the lives of others. www. “What touched me most was the positive attitude and enthusiasm of those young volunteers. Run by a local non-governmental organization and supported by UNICEF. Syria – A recently rehabilitated centre in a neighbourhood in the city of Homs is abuzz with action.twitter.” Before they could join the centre as facilitators.400 students in Jiyan school at Domiz refugee camp. “If I knew that people of my age can learn these skills. particularly in areas with large numbers of internally displaced persons. day training for 1. Priority is given to the most vulnerable families living in Bab Al Salame camp across the border and to families in urban areas in Kilis province. Iraq On World Environment day. Jordan On June 4.tumblr. supported by UNICEF “We want to help our society during the crisis. The trainers themselves are young – no more than 21 to 22 years old. I would have joined similar courses before.