UN says aid to 9 million Syrian children in peril

2017-06-17 12:22


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Beirut - The UN children's agency warned on Friday that a critical funding shortfall is threatening aid to nine million Syrian children, both in their country and among the refugees in neighbouring states.

Unicef said the $220m budget gap to its Syria relief programmes is the worst it has faced since the start of the conflict in 2011. It appealed for $1.4bn in 2017 to provide relief and education to children orphaned, displaced, wounded, or otherwise affected by the Syria war.

A Unicef statement on Friday said that "without an injection of new funds, some critical and lifesaving activities ... are at a serious risk of being cut off, with grave consequences for Syrian children".

UN aid programmes have suffered from chronic funding shortfall throughout the Syria crisis. The UN's refugee agency UNHCR said earlier it had managed to raise only $29m of the $153m it had budgeted to meet humanitarian needs in northern Syria, where a US-supported assault on the Islamic State group's de facto capital Raqqa has displaced more than 100 000 civilians.

Moreover, local obstruction has severely limited access for the agencies.

The UN has been unable to reach any of the 600 000 civilians in Syria it counts as besieged in over 40 days, said a top humanitarian official.

Jan Egeland blamed the delays on "red tape".  He has previously accused the Syrian government of failing to fulfill its obligations to allow aid access to besieged areas.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  unicef  |  lebanon  |  syria conflict

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