Japan provides US$4.3 million to assist the most vulnerable children and families affected by the Syria crisis in Lebanon

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Beirut, 14 May 2014 – The Government of Japan has contributed US$4.3 million to UNICEF’s emergency response in providing safe water, adequate sanitation, health and child protection services to the most vulnerable Syrian children and families in Lebanon and Lebanese host communities.

“With up to 13,000 new Syrian refugees arriving in Lebanon, half of which are children under-18, every week, it is urgent that essential services are scaled up to meet their basic needs,” said Ms. Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF’s Representative in Lebanon, during a joint visit yesterday with his Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to UNICEF-supported interventions in the Bekaa valley today.

“We are very grateful to the people of Japan; these funds will help ensure the most vulnerable children and families affected by the Syria crisis have access to urgently needed services.”

Through these funds, around 20,000 Syrian refugees living in informal settlements will receive urgently needed access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities. Additionally, some 10,000 Syrian refugees and Lebanese hosts will benefit from repairs and rehabilitation of local water networks.

The funds will also support UNICEF in providing access to primary health care services for more than 100,000 refugees living in informal settlements through Mobile Medical Units. In addition, screening of up to 40,000 children for malnutrition and the provision of essential micronutrient supplements for 8,000 pregnant and lactating women will be realised. 

“We are proud to support UNICEF’s efforts to improve the well-being of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and assist the most vulnerable Lebanese host communities and provide some relief for children who have experienced more than any child should,” stated Mr. Seiichi Otsuka, the Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon,

“As we approach the summer season clean water and sanitation facilities become critical to the wellbeing of children to ensure they stay healthy.” Added his Excellency Mr. Otuska, “We hope that the contribution from the people of Japan will help UNICEF in its efforts to scale up access to clean water and sanitation for all Syrian refugee children in informal tented settlements”

Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees from the crisis in Syria in the region, with over one million registered refugees. UNICEF is supporting the Government of Lebanon to ensure access to safe water, adequate sanitation, hygiene promotion, basic health care, education, and child protection services to all Syrian refugee children and most vulnerable host communities in Lebanon.

Please find below a link to download high resolution photos of the joint visit to Bekaa valley:

https://www.hightail.com/download/ZUcwdFdUaytUWUFsYzlVag

About UNICEF

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.






Lebanon, 2014 
© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0295/RAMZI HAIDAR



A girl plays on a swing, in the Faida informal tented settlement for Syrian refugees, in the Bekaa Valley.



On 14 March 2014 in Lebanon, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake – together with Chief Executive of Save the Children UK Justin Forsyth, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, Mercy Corps Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy Andrea Koppel and World Vision International’s Regional Leader for the Middle East and Eastern Europe Conny Lenneberg – made a joint visit to the Bekaa Valley. The five organizations are united in calling for an immediate end to the fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, where the continuing humanitarian crisis has forced more than 2.5 million people to flee to nearby countries. Lebanon is currently hosting over 491,700 of those refugees. The conflict – which enters its fourth year on 15 March – has also displaced more than 6 million people, one third of them children, inside the Syrian Arab Republic.
Lebanon, 2014 
© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0295/RAMZI HAIDAR
A girl plays on a swing, in the Faida informal tented settlement for Syrian refugees, in the Bekaa Valley.
On 14 March 2014 in Lebanon, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake – together with Chief Executive of Save the Children UK Justin Forsyth, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, Mercy Corps Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy Andrea Koppel and World Vision International’s Regional Leader for the Middle East and Eastern Europe Conny Lenneberg – made a joint visit to the Bekaa Valley. The five organizations are united in calling for an immediate end to the fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, where the continuing humanitarian crisis has forced more than 2.5 million people to flee to nearby countries. Lebanon is currently hosting over 491,700 of those refugees. The conflict – which enters its fourth year on 15 March – has also displaced more than 6 million people, one third of them children, inside the Syrian Arab Republic.
championthechildrenofsyria

championthechildrenofsyria:

Syrian children carry the scars of the war they’ve fled — a war with no end in sight.

Nigel Pont, our Middle East Program Director says, “If we don’t invest in them now, then we’ll certainly be hearing from them later.”

Read more about the physical and emotional needs of children affected by the Syria crisis, and what we’re doing to ensure they are not forgotten.

championthechildrenofsyria
championthechildrenofsyria:

Mahmoud, 15, fled Syria 1 year ago. “I like being in a secure place away from the bombing, but I hope to go back to Syria and to go to school again. I don’t go to school here because the classes are crowded and the teachers are not interested in us. I hope that someday I can become a better person in my community and give back to Syria.”
For young Syrians, it’s not just the horrors of war that haunt them — it’s the reality of loss and what they face every day now as refugees. Hear from children in Zaatari refugee camp. 
Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

championthechildrenofsyria:

Mahmoud, 15, fled Syria 1 year ago. “I like being in a secure place away from the bombing, but I hope to go back to Syria and to go to school again. I don’t go to school here because the classes are crowded and the teachers are not interested in us. I hope that someday I can become a better person in my community and give back to Syria.”

For young Syrians, it’s not just the horrors of war that haunt them — it’s the reality of loss and what they face every day now as refugees. Hear from children in Zaatari refugee camp.

Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

championthechildrenofsyria
championthechildrenofsyria:

Jouri, 10, fled Syria 18 months ago. “Here I can’t walk around freely. I can’t get all the kinds of food and sweets I had in Syria. I hope to go back to Syria by car with the windows rolled down so the fresh air can come inside.”
In their own words, young people in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan tell us what it’s like to grow up without their home and what keeps them looking forward. Read their stories. 
Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

championthechildrenofsyria:

Jouri, 10, fled Syria 18 months ago. “Here I can’t walk around freely. I can’t get all the kinds of food and sweets I had in Syria. I hope to go back to Syria by car with the windows rolled down so the fresh air can come inside.”

In their own words, young people in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan tell us what it’s like to grow up without their home and what keeps them looking forward. Read their stories.

Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

Lebanon announces third national Polio immunization campaign within five months

Beirut, 6 March 2014 – The Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) announced today the launch of a third nation-wide Polio immunization campaign as part of the continued efforts to keep Lebanon’s children safe from Polio. The six-day campaign, which starts on the 10th of March, aims to reach almost 600,000 children under five in Lebanon regardless of nationality.

“Once again we come together with UNICEF and WHO to ensure Lebanon’s 12 years of polio free status is maintained.” said Mr. Wael Abou Faour, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Health at a press briefing held today. “It is vital that every child under the age of five is vaccinated even if they have received the vaccine before at a health centre or a private clinic. Even one unvaccinated child puts all other children in Lebanon at risk.”

For this round of the immunization campaign the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF and WHO have partnered with the Lebanese Order of Physicians and the Lebanese Pediatric Society to ensure that children who might have missed out on the vaccination during the last two rounds are reached this time.

WHO will be providing logistical support to the health district office. UNICEF will be providing private sector Pediatricians with 300,000 doses of the polio vaccine, in addition to 1.7 million doses provided to the Ministry of Public Health, to ensure that children can get the vaccine for free regardless where they are receiving health care.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Health and all our partners we were able to keep Lebanon polio free but we must continue to be vigilant.” said Ms. Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF’s representative in Lebanon, adding “We cannot allow the fact that Lebanon has been, and still is free of polio, lull us into inaction. Protecting Lebanon’s children from a potentially deadly disease is in our hands and with these repeated campaigns we aim to ensure that Polio has no chance of circulating in the region.”

Dr. Hassan El Bushra WHO representative in Lebanon, noted, “The first two rounds of National immunization days have been great success stories. The vigilance, dedication and hard work of the staff of Ministry of Public Health have prevented re-introduction of polio viruses into Lebanon. The WHO will spare no effort to keep Lebanon free of poliomyelitis. WHO provided technical support, conducted field assessment; and together with MOPH developed and funded implementation of micro-plans related to Nation immunization days.”

During this campaign parents in Lebanon’s cities and villages are asked to bring their children to the nearest health center and outpatient departments for vaccination. In the meantime UNICEF will be mobilizing its partners and out-reach teams to vaccinate children in more than 460 informal tented settlements where many of the Syrian refugee families reside across Lebanon.

This campaign follows two previous rounds of Polio vaccination campaigns that have reached almost 590,000 children under five, around 98.4% of the target group. The campaigns are part the largest ever immunization response in the Middle East aiming to prevent the spread of polio in the region after 25 cases were confirmed in Syria.

The third round of the national polio immunization campaign will be followed in April by an expanded immunization Polio, Measles and Rubella in addition to vitamin A supplementation. UNICEF will be providing 1.3 million doses of the MR vaccine for the fourth immunization round. UNICEF will also be will be mobilizing its network of partners in Lebanon in order to support the Ministry of Public Health in reaching almost one million children aged between 9 months and 18 years old.

About UNICEF

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.

For more information about UNICEF in Lebanon please visit: 

please visit: website

Report available at: http://bit.ly/1mrOtE1

Video link: http://youtu.be/gZ-DrN9vAyQ

Follow us on Twitter: @UNICEF_Lebanon

About WHO

The World Health Organization is building a better future for people everywhere. Health lays the foundation for vibrant and productive communities, stronger economies, safer nations and a better world. Our work touches lives around the world every day – often in invisible ways.  As the lead health authority within the United Nations system, we help to ensure the safety of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the medicines and vaccines that treat and protect us. We aim to provide every child, woman and man with the best chance to lead a healthier, longer life. 

please visit: website

Malnutrition a silent threat emerging among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon

By Soha Bsat Boustani

A Syrian mother flees the conflict in her home country only to find her children facing a new threat – malnutrition. 

GHAZIYEH, Lebanon, 25 February 2014 – Fatmeh, Mona, Siham, Tourkia, Leila and the others sit in a collective shelter in Ghaziyeh, south Lebanon. The women are talking about their lives in the Syrian Arabic Republic, before the conflict broke out. They recall beautiful stone houses surrounded by orange trees, a room for each child, university for their older children, schools for the younger ones, the food.

They relate how unbearable things had become, when they were forced to flee to Lebanon.

In Lebanon, each woman struggles to survive, with nothing but her dignity.

Abed

Tourkia is pregnant. She has two other children. She takes me to her small room. Ten people live there. The room has no sanitation facilities, no water, no kitchen. There are one bathroom and one kitchen for the entire collective shelter, and they are shared by the seventy families who live there.

UNICEF Image

© UNICEF PHOTOTen people live in the room in which Tourkia struggles to get proper nourishment to Abed. One bathroom and one kitchen are shared among 70 families in the collective shelter.

The rents have skyrocketed because of the demand for housing across Lebanon. 

Tourkia shows me her son Abed. Abed is 15 months old, but his height and weight are those of 5-month-old. Abed won’t stop crying. His eyes are empty. His skin is dry and flaky.

Tourkia tells me, “We took him to the doctor, who told us that that he urgently needs to be taken to hospital.

“He has a high fever, is continuously vomiting and has become so weak,” she adds. “We are watching him die, but we didn’t have money to take him to the hospital.”

With the help of Fatmeh, a community mobilizer from the NGO Terre des Hommes, we are able to contact the local hospital to discuss Abed. We give the family the cost of transportation.

Abed is treated with therapeutic food, and he recovers. We catch up with Fatmeh later. She tells us he has become an energetic child, running and playing. 

Malnutrition

Abed is not alone. UNICEF recently led an inter-agency nutrition assessment on Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Malnutrition is becoming a threat, among this population.

Preliminary results show that almost 2,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and need immediate treatment to survive. As malnutrition is linked to such factors as poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, the cold season, lack of immunization, diseases and improper infant and young child feeding practices, the situation could deteriorate even further.

“The most vulnerable Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, especially children under 5 living in dire conditions, are at risk of malnutrition,” says UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Annamaria Laurini. “UNICEF is working with the Government and partners to implement both immediate and longer-term measures to address the issues.”

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