13 March 2013

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have visited a refugee camp in Jordan to meet families who have fled the crisis in Syria and see UNICEF's work to support them.

The King Abdullah Park camp, close to the Syrian border, holds 921 people, including 529 children under 18, who are being helped by UNICEF.

See photos from the Royal visit on our Facebook page.

During their visit Their Royal Highnesses spent time with families in the camp, hearing about the profound stress that families have been through and the extreme challenges they now face to survive and keep their children healthy.

The Royal couple were shown around the camp by UNICEF and the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR).

They also visited a child-friendly space, where children who experienced the conflict can receive help, care and attention.

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The Duchess of Cornwall was introduced to children by Dominique Hyde of UNICEF Jordan, who told her that the children were drawing pictures of things they are missing from home. Basic exercises like this help children to reconnect and play, and learn to live through their profound distress.

The Duchess of Cornwall went on to ask if the children were able to go to school and Dominique explained that 250 children from the camp are transported every day to a Jordanian state school in a nearby town. The children told her Royal Highness that it makes them happy to be able to go to school again.

Hyde said: "After all the violence they have witnessed and all the stress they have been through, UNICEF is providing the children of Syria with vital support ranging from safe drinking water, essential vaccines and nutrition, to education, clothing and protection."

In this camp alone we are helping more than 250 children to get back into school and reconnect with their childhood. Across Jordan, UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Education to support classes and teaching for nearly 40,000 children.

To date, UNICEF’s appeal for children affected by Syria remains over 30% unfunded.

This chronic lack of funding is threatening to leave many Syrian children without essential help. Unless that issue is solved, UNICEF will be forced to scale back on even basic life-saving work like vaccinations and providing clean drinking water.

 
The Prince of Wales visits a UNICEF child-friendly space at the Jordan refugee camp this morning. © UNICEF UK/2013/Katie Morrison
The Prince of Wales visits a UNICEF child-friendly space at the Jordan refugee camp this morning.© UNICEF UK/2013/Katie Morrison
The Duchess of Cornwall sits with nursery children at the King Abdullah Park refugee camp in Jordan. © Clarence House/2013
The Duchess of Cornwall sits with nursery children at the King Abdullah Park refugee camp in Jordan.© Clarence House/2013