Millions of children across the Middle East is going through a harsh winter and continuous low temperature. Meanwhile, the gap funding to support these children are still too large.
Simple things also makes them exhausted families affected by the conflict in Syria and Iraq have become exhausted after years of violence, displacement and unemployment. Their financial resources exhausted, that they can not afford warm clothing and heating fuel. Many people are living in temporary shelters territories with meager resources. Many have fled the conflict without carrying anything.
While people continue to flee the besieged city of Aleppo (Syria), a pose another challenge in front of them is the increasingly cold weather and constant low temperature. Children are one of the subjects most vulnerable amid such severe weather.
“The winter months are even worse than the children inside Syria”, Ms. Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria – who has just returned from Aleppo said. “I’ve seen these children to abandon their homes without anything, except a few clothes on his back. After the horrors they have experienced, they now have to face the bitter “, she added.
5 days ago, boy Ahmed (10 years) has to Jibreen – an industrial district on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo. His parents were killed amid conflicts taking place across the city. Brother and four siblings had no one to care for and help them stay warm in winter.
Around 6,200 people have fled the conflict in eastern Aleppo is currently staying in an old warehouse in Jibreen – which are covered by the cold.
Anxiety and fatigue evident on the face of the boy Ahmed. My hands are calloused and his clothes were torn decent. Like many children living in temporary shelters, Ahmed spent most of the time to collect firewood for heating. Due to failing health, to collect firewood and the boy simply become exhausted.
Journey to Jibreen also tiring for her Rahaf (5 years), brother Wael (2 years old) and their mother – who also come from the east of Aleppo. Their mother – a widow, was a wound in the leg had to go in a wheelchair carrying the child for several hours until they are transferred to the bus to get to Jibreen. She said that it was a very difficult journey, and she was glad when both she and the child were still alive when the Jibreen.
Children in Aleppo (Syria) is only one example for the Middle East, millions of children are faced with the harsh winter. More than ever, they need support to have better living conditions, to ensure the health of the cold weather.
Need to fill the gap financing to help children
According to Regional Director Middle East and North Africa UNICEF – Mr. Geert Cappelaere, the health of millions of children in the region weakened by months of malnutrition and lack of medical care. And when it comes to living in cold weather conditions, your body vulnerable to hypothermia and prone to infection due to respiratory colds. He asserts that, without help, winter can be a harsh agent for the health of many children.
UNICEF hopes to provide support for more than 2.5 million children in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt with warm clothes, blankets to keep heat and cash support for the Family family this winter.
So far, the winter kits have been distributed to nearly 50,000 children in Syria, including those living in the camp after the evacuation from the eastern Aleppo.
More than 5,000 children have been staying at Jibreen receive the warm winter clothes from UNICEF. Smiles appeared on the faces of the boys, girls like Ahmed, Wael Rahaf and when they see a box full of warm clothes and shoes.
UNICEF also provided space heaters to schools in Lebanon for 95,000 children and cash assistance to more than 50,000 children in Jordan, 38,000 children and 400 pregnant women and nursing mothers in Iraq are receiving warm winter clothing.
However, demand overcame support: UNICEF received just over half the amount requested $ 82 million to help protect children vulnerable in winter. This organization should have added $ 38 million to fill the vacant finance terms to help children.
Grants winter that UNICEF seek to provide additional programs ongoing in support of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and education for millions of children across the Middle East.