UNICEF: Aid not reaching stranded families in rural Damascus

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Newly arrived Syrian refugees in Jordan after crossing the border. [Photo: UNHCR/J. Kohler]

Close to 1.2 million Syrians living in the eastern rural Damascus are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

UN- led aid convoys heading to the region with relief items for up to 5,000 families have been stranded for months due to the ongoing hostilities.

Elsewhere in Syria UNICEF says it has delivered vaccine storage equipment in Aleppo and school supplies for almost 70,000 students.

In the besieged city of Al Qusayr, UNICEF says despite the intense fighting in the town, it has managed to repair a broken generator at a water pumping facility which assists close to 1.3 million people.

Marixie Mercado from UNICEF says the agency is pre-positioning water purification supplies ahead of the coming summer heat in order to prevent outbreak of waterborne diseases.

"This month UNICEF is distributing soap to 10 million people across the country. Over 600,000 households in areas where safety of drinking water is questionable will receive chlorination tablets. Supplies for personal hygiene and garbage disposal will reach two million people. Together with the Ministry of Health workers and Syrian Arab Crescent volunteers, we have so far reached over one million children with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and over 700,000 with polio immunization, many of these children in zones of active conflict. UNICEF continues to distribute safe water to displaced families living in shelters and is working to provide treatment units, generators and large storage tanks to hard hot communities. To provide life-saving treatment in the event of an outbreak, UNICEF is pre-positioning oral rehydration salts and diarrhoea kits in all 14 governorates of the country."

UNICEF is reiterating its call on all parties to provide safe access to populations in need and protection of children from all forms of violence.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1’54″

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