Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Maria Calivis on school shelling near Damascus

AMMAN, 5 December 2012 – “UNICEF condemns yesterday’s shelling of a school near Damascus that killed a number of students and a teacher.

“Since the violence in Syria began, schools have been looted, vandalized and burned.

“This is unacceptable. Schools are, and must remain, zones of peace.

“UNICEF renews its call for all parties to the conflict in Syria to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and to ensure that all children are protected at all times.”

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For more information please contact Stephen Pattison in the UNICEF UK Press Office on +44(0)20 7375 6030 or stephenp@unicef.org.uk

UNICEF’s work for children affected by the Syria conflict

More than 1.2 million children are affected inside Syria, with over half a million internally displaced. Outside Syria, more than 200,000 children have been displaced to neighbouring countries and the numbers of refugees continues to increase.

UNICEF plans to reach 647,300 women and children in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey with a package of emergency supplies for the winter. The minimum package will include winter clothing for children, woolen hats, shoes, blankets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, cooking stoves and cooking sets, and hygiene kits.

UNICEF will continue to support basic health services, including the provision of medical kits, new born kits and drugs. Pre-fabricated classrooms and tents designed for winter conditions are being provided for extra classroom space and Child Friendly Spaces. Water, sanitation and hygiene units are being roofed, insulated and provided with hot water.

Funding Needs

UNICEF urgently requires additional funds to provide vital winter-related emergency supplies to children and families. With a funding gap of in excess of $79 million for the emergency response, a significant proportion is needed to protect children from the winter. 

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk