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Launch of the 2015 Strategic Response Plan for Syria and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan - 2015-16

Statement by Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa


 “The Syria crisis represents the biggest threat to children of recent times. By the end of 2015, the lives of over 8.6 million children across the region will have been torn apart by violence and forced displacement. That compares to a figure of 7 million just one month ago.

“Since the outset, and in spite of the enormous security and other challenges posed by a conflict of such scale and brutality, UNICEF and its partners have been delivering clean water, sanitation, education, health and immunization services, and psychosocial care to millions of children and their families.

“This year, as part of the 2015 Syria appeal, UNICEF is renewing its commitment to the survival and protection of children, including those living under the harshest conditions of siege. At the same time, we are redoubling our efforts on behalf of poor communities in neighbouring countries where refugees have settled, so that they can continue to share their vital services and schools with refugee children and their families living in their midst.

“In 2015, drawing on the experience we have gained on the ground and working alongside our local and international partners, UNICEF will:

  • Double the number of children accessing safe water and sanitation. This will be done mainly by strengthening durable water networks and infrastructure. In Syria alone, we will continue to meet the ongoing needs of more than 16 m people.
  • Double the number of children with access to learning especially in Syria and Jordan, while expanding the provision of learning materials for children living in areas of Syria made hard-to-reach by violence.
  • Maintain ongoing vaccination campaigns with the aim of preventing any further polio cases, while also doubling the number of children in Syria benefiting from primary health care consultations.
  • Deliver care and support to 850,000 children directly affected by the conflict, while expanding cash grants and provision of winter clothing to the families of the most vulnerable children.
  • Reinforce the efforts of local authorities to provide education, health, water/ sanitation and protection services for Syrian refugee and host community children.

“These commitments – costed at $ 903 million -- represent the bare minimum the children affected by this conflict can expect of UNICEF and of the international community as a whole.  We call on our supporters around the world to help us make these commitments a reality.”


UNICEF promotes 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.
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