Following Friday’s announcement that without urgent new funding, UNICEF will find itself unable to continue delivering critical support to Syrians who have fled to Jordan, David Bull Executive Director of UNICEF UK, has stressed that there is still time to prevent this outcome.
At a press conference last week in Geneva UNICEF revealed that by June 2013 the organisation will be forced to stop delivering 3.5 million litres of water every day to Za'atari camp in Jordan and will be unable to provide sanitation, education, immunisation and nutrition support to two new camps slated to open in coming weeks.
“The needs are rising exponentially, and we are broke” said Marixie Mercado, a UNICEF spokeswoman. "Since the beginning of year, more than 2000 refugees have streamed across the border every day. We expect these numbers to more than double by July and triple by December.”
David Bull added:
“This bleak assessment of the funding situation facing UNICEF in Jordan is deeply worrying but it comes as no surprise. The growing scale of the crisis within Syria has led to ever increasing number of refugees arriving in Jordan stretching our already under-resourced humanitarian operation to breaking point. Scaling back on life-saving interventions, such as clean water and immunisation will result in prolonged suffering for tens of thousands of children and we cannot let this happen. It is not too late. Concerted action from everyone can still ensure this does not happen and these children receive the help they so desperately need.”
UNICEF is currently providing safe water, sanitation, immunization, education, and child protection at Za'atari camp, which houses around 100,000 refugees, more than half of whom are children. This is just a fraction of the total refugee community: around 80 percent of Syrian refugees are hosted by local communities, putting an enormous strain on the economy and infrastructure, including on water, health and education systems. Here too, UNICEF is providing critical assistance, but needs have far surpassed funding resources.
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Notes for Editors:
For more information or an interview with a UNICEF spokesperson in UK or Jordan, please contact: Stefan Simanowitz on 0207 375 6077
Donate to UNICEF UK’s Syria appeal at www.unicef.org.uk/syria-appeal
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