UNICEF says 210,000 children in Homs need urgent humanitarian assistance

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Children form a line outside the school at Za'atari camp in northern Jordan. Photo © UNICEF/Simon Ingram

More than 200,000 children in the western Syrian governorate of Homs are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, according to a United Nations joint mission in which UNICEF took part.

The joint mission says almost one in three people in Homs is a displaced person. And about two-thirds of the displaced are below 18 years old.

UNICEF's Spokesperson Marixie Mercado says the Homs mission found that out of some 1500 schools, around 200 have been damaged as a result of the fighting and another 65 are now hosting displaced families.

“The mission also witnessed an extraordinary thirst for education: a 14-year-old girl and her younger brother who have transformed their shelter into a reading room where children come together to study. Children who fearlessly make their way through rubble to remedial learning programmes and teachers struggling to teach classrooms with double or even triple the number of students. The common refrain of parents and education officials was how important it was that children be supported in their learning.”

UNICEF recently appealed for $68.5 million to carry out life-saving programmes inside Syria during the first six months of 2013. But it says only a fraction of the funds–a little over $8 million–has been received so far.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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