Nearly 10,000 Children Fleeing Floods in Syria

A Syrian family tries to keep warm in this unfinished building in the informal settlement of Al-Khalidia Al-Khamisa in Homs. UNICEF/Sanadiki (file)
A Syrian family tries to keep warm in this unfinished building in the informal settlement of Al-Khalidia Al-Khamisa in Homs. UNICEF/Sanadiki (file)

Children continue to pay the heaviest price due to the escalation in violence in northwest Syria. UNICEF says it received alarming reports of 80 people killed, including one child.

Many families are fleeing their homes as conflict intensifies, with no place to go but to already overcrowded camps hosting displaced families.

Floods swept through the area on 26 December, affecting nearly 10,000 children in Atmeh, Qah, Deir Ballut, Albab, Jisr Ashughur, among other areas. Exposed to harsh winter weather and freezing temperature conditions, UNICEF says children’s lives are hanging by a thread.

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The number of impacted children will increase if fighting continues and as more heavy rain is expected. Many of those children have been displaced, some multiple times.

“The suffering of children in northwest Syria has tripled due to this recent escalation of violence, harsh weather conditions, and lack of safe refuge. UNICEF calls on all parties fighting in the area and elsewhere in Syria to protect children at all times and allow humanitarian workers to reach children and families in need with lifesaving supplies,” said Geert Cappelaere, Regional Director of UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa.

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UNICEF, with partners on the ground, continue to respond to the increasing needs of children and their families. Last week, UNICEF was able to send 13 trucks with lifesaving supplies to the area.

The trucks were loaded with winter clothes, plastic sheets, fuel for heating, micronutrient supplies, high energy biscuits, Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), and tents for temporary classrooms.

UNICEF’s partners on the ground are also monitoring health, nutrition, and sanitation needs to prevent an outbreak of diseases.

Photo: UNICEF

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