In the week that marks two years since the crisis in Syria began, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited a refugee camp in Jordan to meet families who have fled the fighting.
The King Abdullah Park camp, just 15 km from the Syrian border, holds 921 people, of which 529 are children under 18, who are being helped by UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme.
During their visit Their Royal Highnesses spent time with families in the camp, hearing for themselves about the profound distress that they have been through and the extreme challenges that many now face as they start a new attempt to survive and look after their children. The Royal couple were shown around the camp by UNICEF and UNHCR, who support the Jordanian government to assist the families. Their Royal Highnesses visited a children’s space and met children who had fled Syria with their families.
The Duchess of Cornwall was introduced to children at the centre, who told her that they were drawing pictures of things they are missing from home, like their gardens. Her Royal Highness was told that this kind of activity helps children deal with the severe trauma that many have experienced before they fled their country to escape the conflict. In essence, they learn to reconnect and become children again.
UNICEF Representative Dominique Hyde explained to the party 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.
Dominique then described to Their Royal Highnesses how UNICEF helps children in the camps on a daily basis. She 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, we support the education of nearly 40,000 children. We hugely welcome the visit of Their Royal Highnesses and thank them both for shining a spotlight on our work, alongside that of the Jordanian Government and all our partners. We also hope that the world’s attention continues to focus on this crisis and that we can receive the support we desperately need to continue our vital and life saving work.”
To date, UNICEF’s appeal for children affected by Syria is less than 20 per cent funded. This chronic lack of funding is threatening to leave many Syrian children without essential assistance. Unless an 80 percent funding gap is bridged UNICEF will be forced to scale back on even life saving interventions including water provision.
Notes to editors:
UNICEF is appealing urgently for funds to support our work with children affected by the Syrian crisis. To donate please go to www.unicef.org.uk or the UK public can text the word DONATE to 70099 to donate £5, which can provide water for a family for a week.
David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, is now on his way back from Jordan and is available for interviews in London this afternoon.
Katie Morrison, UNICEF UK Head of Media is available for interview in Jordan.
For more information and to arrange interviews please contact Stefan Simanowitz on +44 207 375 6077 or email@example.com
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