20 May 2013

Despite heavy fighting, UNICEF and its partners have provided life-saving supplies over the last week to some of the hardest to reach places in Syria, in towns like Aleppo and Al Houla.

Clothing and washing supplies were given to refugeee families in the village of Zamarin, which is hosting 6,000 women and children from Al Bayda and Baniyas, where mass killings reportedly took place earlier this month.

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Six trucks also went to Aleppo carrying hygiene kits, high-energy biscuits, oral rehydration salts, incubators, water purification tablets and clothing.

Much of the ancient city of Aleppo has been reduced to rubble, and heavy fighting has displaced or otherwise affected four million people, half of them children. 

In another mission, UNICEF and other UN agencies reached Al Houla, where over 100 people, including dozens of children, were massacred in a single day last May.

Supplies brought into the city, which had been largely cut off for months because of continued fighting, included hundreds of hygiene kits and nutrition supplies.

In addition, several generators are being installed throughout the country, including one in Homs, which will provide access to safe water for around 300,000 people.

Despite the deteriorating security situation in Syria, UNICEF and its partners have managed to increase their humanitarian work. This year alone, close to a million Syrian children have been vaccinated, and some 7.4 million people have been provided with access to safe water. Around 100,000 children have been enrolled in school clubs. 

But the needs are growing faster than funding. Just over two years into the crisis, around 80,000 people have been killed, over 4.25 million have been internally displaced and over 1.5 million have fled Syria into neighbouring countries. 

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A girl receives a dose of oral polio vaccine at a health centre in Syria during a UNICEF-supported polio and measles immunisation campaign. © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1628/BASSEL HALABI
A girl receives a dose of oral polio vaccine at a health centre in Syria during a UNICEF-supported polio and measles immunisation campaign.© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1628/BASSEL HALABI