UNICEF UK high profile supporter Tom Hiddleston has today added his voice to UNICEF UK’s appeal for urgent funds to save children’s lives in Syria.

In a television advert to be aired today across UK media channels the War Horse and Avengers star highlights the urgent crisis facing Syria’s children saying:

“After months of escalating violence, more and more families are fleeing their homes. Their children are desperate, traumatised and frightened. Nearly 1 million refugees have now crossed the border. And for those still in Syria, the crisis is getting worse. Without urgent action there simply won't be enough water for everyone. UNICEF is on the ground, working night and day to provide safe drinking water, clothes and all the support we can. This is not a famine or an earthquake. But it is a crisis.”
 
The advert follows on from a previous appeal by UNICEF UK Ambassador Ewan McGregor which attracted an unprecedented response from the public and from celebrity supporters including UNICEF Ambassadors Robbie Williams, Roger Moore and Mia Farrow.
 
It comes as the Syria conflict reaches the two year mark and the UNHCR announcement that the number of refugees from Syria has now reached one million. It also comes as UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, steps up its appeal around the world for urgent funds for their vital work for children in Syria and the neighbouring countries.
 
Of the million refugees currently in five neighbouring countries, half are children. Those under the age of 5 most vulnerable and cases of acute respiratory infections, flu and pneumonia are increasing as access to basic services deteriorates. 
 
2.5 million children have now been affected by this emergency, many of whom will have already witnessed unspeakable violence. UNICEF is working to provide safe drinking water, blankets, and clothes – as well as delivering other vital emergency support. This includes increasing access to clean toilets, providing essential health services and psychological support for children in distress and working to set up temporary schooling so that the children can continue with their education. 
 
But UNICEF are seriously short on funds. Unless an 80 percent funding gap is bridged UNICEF will be forced to scale back on even life saving interventions. For example, as of next month, there might not be enough funds to provide children and their families in Syria with clean drinking water. Without this, many thousands of children could be exposed to serious and potentially life-threatening waterborne diseases. Please text the word DONATE to 70099 to give £5 or go to http://www.unicef.org.uk/syria-appeal to help children affected by the crisis.


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Note to editors:

For more information, photographs of UNICEF UK supporter Tom Hiddleston or an interview with a UNICEF spokesperson in the UK or Jordan, please contact Stefan Simanowitz on 0207 375 6077 or stefans@unicef.org.uk
 
To donate to UNICEF UK’s Syria appeal go to www.unicef.org.uk/syria-appeal
 
View the appeal video at http://youtu.be/vJBVBUOciIY

Case studies from Za'atari refugee camp are available.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk
 
Case Studies
 
Ghina and Ghzal are twins. They fled to the camp from the besieged city of Diraa and are still terrified by the sound of aeroplanes flying overhead. There is no light or heating in their tent and the nearest toilet is a 15 minute walk away. Ghzal has got the flu and she cries most of the time. They have no warm blankets and there are is no medicine available.
 
UNICEF have provided blankets to the twins and installed water taps to ensure they do not have to drink unsafe water.


Hassam Alttaneery is 10 months old and arrived in the camp with his family two months ago. He has just spent a week in the refugee camp hospital being treated for hypothermia. The tent in which Hassam and his family stayed was recently flooded following the heavy rains. Eight of them are now living in a metal container. 

After their tent was flooded, UNICEF provided additional blankets to keep Hassam warm. 


Amani Is five years old and suffering from arthritis. Having lived in the camps cold damp conditions for 4 months her young joints are experiencing severe pain. Recently her family’s tent was flooded and their blankets and mattresses were soaked. Following the flood Amani also caught flu.