East Ghouta, another reminder that there is no respite from nightmare for children in Syria

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore

8 February 2018 – “This week, dozens of children have reportedly been killed and many more injured by extreme and intensifying violence in several parts of Syria.

“The violence shows no sign of abating.

“In East Ghouta alone, hundreds of children are in urgent need of medical evacuation. Four years of siege have crumbled health and other basic services critical to children’s survival and growth. Over the past few months, malnutrition has increased five-fold.

“For children who remain trapped under siege and under wanton, heavy violence across Syria, life is a living nightmare. They are struggling just to stay alive.

“I am heartbroken by what the children of Syria continue to suffer because of actions taken by adults — actions that show total disregard for the protection, safety and wellbeing of children.

“UNICEF joins calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria. Protection of children must be paramount at all times. Schools, hospitals and playgrounds should be places of safety, never targets.

“Children, wherever they are in Syria, must have access to healthcare. The evacuation of sick and wounded children from besieged areas should be a given, not part of bargaining efforts.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

Photo and video assets available here: https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AM4080EBUGC

For further information:

Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

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Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk