UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor 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 this evening across UK media channels McGregor highlights the urgent crisis facing Syria’s children. He says:

“After months of violence living in fear for their lives, the traumatised families were forced to flee for safety with nothing but their clothes they were wearing. But now these children face a new crisis.  Heavy winter rain has flooded thousands of tents destroying the only place they can call home. Children have been facing freezing temperatures and fierce winds with no shelter or blankets. They are bitterly cold and frightened.”

The advert 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, which have been hit with the coldest temperatures in 10 years. In recent weeks refugee camps have been blanketed with snow and flooded with rain. Children, especially those under the age of 5, are extremely vulnerable during harsh weather conditions. The cases of acute respiratory infections, flu and pneumonia are increasing as access to basic services deteriorates. Most children have no socks or decent winter shoes and are in need of the most basic protection from the cold, including warmer clothes and blankets.

Estimates predict that the number of children affected by this emergency will reach 2.5 million, many of whom will have already witnessed unspeakable violence. UNICEF is working to provide children with urgent protection from the harsh winter conditions – distributing blankets, warm winter clothes and waterproof tents – as well as delivering other vital emergency programmes. These include increasing access to clean drinking water and toilets, providing essential health services, providing psychological support for those children in distress and working to set up temporary schooling so that the children can continue with their education.

Ewan McGregor is joined by other UNICEF supporters who have rallied to this desperate cause, including EasyJet, UNICEF’s official UK airline partner, who this week launch a six week ‘Syria emergency’ collection on all its flights across 30 countries.

 To donate to UNICEF UK’s Syria emergency appeal go to www.unicef.org.uk/syria-appeal 

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For more information, photographs of UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor or to arrange an interview with a UNICEF spokesperson in Jordan, please contact Stefan Simanowitz in the UNICEF Press Office on +44 (0)207 375 6030 or stefans@unicef.org.uk