A plane carrying 100 tonnes of UNICEF emergency supplies to assist Syrian refugee children and families has arrived in Erbil, northern Iraq. 

The supplies were airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, to respond to the growing needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq, who now number more than 200,000. Some 50,000 refugees arrived in the last two and a half weeks, half of whom were children.

“These supplies come just in time to meet the pressing needs of the over 20,000 Syrian children who have recently arrived in northern Iraq,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “This airlift underlines UNICEF’s unwavering support for the vital services these children need in the face of terrible suffering, trauma and stress.”

The supplies include: water tanks, water purification tablets and testing kits, oral rehydration solution, emergency health and hygiene equipment and school materials. 

These items come in addition to 12 trucks of supplies, carrying primarily hygiene kits for over 50,000 people, that arrived earlier this week from UNICEF’s warehouse hub in Mersin, Turkey, as well as an additional four trucks of emergency materials that arrived from Baghdad, Iraq. 

“All of these items are part of a first wave of supplies that will massively scale-up UNICEF’s emergency response to the growing number of Syrian refugee children and families in Iraq,” stated Dr. Babille.

The majority of supplies were made possible by a $5.8 million contribution from the Government of Kuwait as well as an in-kind contribution from shipping company UPS, a long-standing partner of UNICEF, which provided support toward the airlift cost from Copenhagen.

UNICEF is working closely with the Kurdistan Regional Government, UNHCR, other UN agencies, and international and national NGOs to deliver vital essential services – particularly water and sanitation, education, health and nutrition, and child protection - to Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.


Notes for editors:

For more information contact UNICEF UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6077, +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or email media@unicef.org.uk 

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