UNICEF is expanding its operation within Syria and in the countries affected by the Syrian crisis to cope with the growing needs of children and families.

As winter approaches, UNICEF is scaling up its operations to help more families with provisions such as heating, children’s clothes and prefabricated classrooms. In addition, next month UNICEF plans to support a vaccination campaign to protect up to one million children against measles and other diseases. UNICEF works with health and education officials, the Syrian Red Crescent and dozens of non-governmental organisations and local associations across Syria.

“There is a perception that things are so bad in Syria that nothing can be done and that is simply not the case,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, during a visit to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, near the Syrian border. “We have been on the ground before and throughout the crisis, we have already reached hundreds of thousands of children and there are now more opportunities in Syria to reach even more children than we have the resources to support.”

Around one million children are affected by the conflict inside Syria, and more than 100,000 Syrian children have been displaced to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. UNICEF is urgently scaling up its emergency response to reach hundreds of thousands of children with child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, and education initiatives. But a lack of funds is inhibiting what can be achieved. UNICEF has appealed for $91 million (£56.1 million) for its operations.

During his visit to Jordan, the UNICEF Executive Director spoke with children and families who were forced to flee the Syrian violence. He also met with Jordanian authorities, UN agency partners, and local and international NGOs who are supporting the Syrian refugees.

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For more information or to arrange an interview with a UNICEF spokesperson, please contact:

Ju-Lin Tan, Media Manager, UNICEF UK, 020 7375 6069, 07814 549 071, julint@unicef.org.uk

About UNICEF

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