A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 225/13 December 2017
UN agencies and partners launched on 12 December a USD 4.4 billion humanitarian appeal to support more than 5 million Syrian refugees and communities hosting them in neighboring countries. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Bureau Director for the Middle East and North Africa Amin Awad said that the crisis in Syria had forced 5.3 million people to flee the country and displaced a further 7 million. In addition, more than 500,000 people had been killed and another 10 million had been cut off from services and were in need of aid. The 2018 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for Syria, is designed to support Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt,
Intra-Syrian talks proceed as Government delegation returns to Geneva
As the Intra-Syrian talks continued for a second week in Geneva, Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said during a press briefing at Headquarters on 11 December that Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura held separate meetings that day with the Government delegation and the Syrian National Congress delegation.
WHO and Handicap International call attention to needs of Syrians with disabilities
An estimated 30,000 people are injured in Syria every month and more than six years into the conflict, an estimated 1.5 million people have been injured. An additional 1.5 million people are living with permanent disabilities. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Handicap International on 11 December called attention to the needs of Syrians with injuries and disabilities, and appealed to the international community to scale up its support. Less than half of all public hospitals and medical facilities in Syria remain functional. Most of them are poorly equipped to provide care to patients with injuries and support persons with disabilities; and only two physical rehabilitation centers (in Damascus and Homs) provide artificial limbs.
Children denied medical evacuation due to ongoing violence in East Ghouta- UNICEF
Continuing violence across East Ghouta, near Damascus, has led to the closure of most schools in the past month and stranded scores of children in need of medical evacuation, UNICEF warned on 10 December. According the UN children agency, at least 130 children require immediate medical evacuation. Nearly 12 per cent of children under 5 years-old in East Ghouta suffer from acute malnutrition – the highest rate ever recorded since the start of the conflict.
UNRWA determined to continue to assist Palestine refugees
During a visit to Jerusalem on 11 December, the Head of the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees Pierre Krähenbühl said that as the tension has risen again in the Middle East, the agency was more than ever determined to protect the rights of Palestine refugees. “Nothing is more important to me than fulfilling that mission. It is a mandate that reflects the will of the international community and was extended by the United Nations General Assembly a year ago”. Mr. Krähenbühl announced that UNRWA services – in East-Jerusalem, in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – will continue without interruption in 2017.
East Ghouta is the epicenter of suffering warns UN official, urging aid and medical access
Briefing reporters in Geneva following a meeting of the Humanitarian Task Force on Syria on 7 December, Special Advisor for Syria Jan Egeland voiced deep concerns about the situation of civilians in besieged areas, particularly East Ghouta. He described the areas as “the epicenter of suffering” where 400,0000 people are cut off of from aid and medical help. “We had hoped to do six convoys last week (…) All six stalled, three in East Ghouta that has severe and acute malnutrition. Why are we not rolling? Because of a lack of facilitation letter from the government”. The Advisor called on all parties on the ground and nations with influence to allow humanitarian and medical aid to the besieged areas.
UN Radio in Arabic
UN and its partners launch a plan to support more than 5 million Syrian refugees and the host communities
Bee hives revived in the British countryside, thanks to the help of Syrian hands …
Special Advisor to UN Envoy for Syria: There is a deep sense of failure
Male rape and sexual torture is widespread in the context of the Syrian crisis
OCHA Syria@OCHA_Syria – 13 December
#Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) released. $4.4 billion needed in 2018 to help 5.2 million Syrian refugees and 3.9 million members of host communities http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/
United Nations@UN – 12 December
United Nations Retweeted UN Refugee Agency
.@Refugees appeals for funds to help 5 million Syrian refugees exiled by 7 years of conflict & the vulnerable communities hosting them.
UN Refugee Agency@Refugees- 12 December
We’re joining with partners today in calling for funds to support refugees from Syria and hosts in surrounding countries: https://trib.al/PPDTcLK
OCHA Syria@OCHA_Syria – 12 December
Beekeeping was a vital industry in #Syria before the #SyriaCrisis. See how the @UN is supporting livelihoods and fighting hunger
UNHCR Syria Retweeted Filippo Grandi @RefugeesChief 12 December
Global Compact on Refugees must have concrete impact on human lives – those of refugees & of communities hosting them. We discuss this today+tomorrow at the High Commissioner’s Dialogue in Geneva with 500+ participants.
UNHCR Syria@UNHCRinSYRIA – 11 December
“I am taking these winter supplies home right now before the cold weather kicks in” @Refugees winterization kits will #makeadifference for vulnerable Syrians in cold climates of #Syria #WarmWinter #SupportSyrians http://donate.unhcr.org
UNHCR Syria@UNHCRinSYRIA- 11 December
ONE out of THREE women are harassed or abused in their lifetime, #EndViolenceAgainstWomen and say NO to give these #Syrian girls protection and a better future. #orangetheworld #SupportSyrians #16days
UNHCR@UNHCRinSYRIA- 11 December
“Yes, @Refugees shelter kits means that daddy can install windows and doors and keep us warm in winter”, they include wood, carpenter tools, nails, locks and other material. #WarmWinter #SupportSyrians #Homs #Syria
OCHA Syria@OCHA_Syria- 11 December
As violence continues to intensify in #EastGhouta, thousands of children are suffering in silence #Syria @UNICEF @franequiza https://www.unicef.org/media/media_102295.html …
OCHA Syria @OCHA_Syria- 10 December
Today, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70. Recent assessments have found strong indications of international humanitarian law and international human rights law violations in #Syria #StandUp4HumanRights #RightsOutLoud
UNHCR@UNHCRinSYRIA- 8 December
As winter approaches @Refugees is distributing winterization kits to 1.2 million vulnerable people inside #Syria #warmwinter #SupportSyrians
Throwback to 1970: A Palestine refugee women with her child in Sbeineh emergency camp in #Syria. Find more photos from the #UNRWAArchive at unrwa.photoshelter.com #forPalestinerefugees
Social media campaigns
UNRWA Transforms the Lives of Palestine Refugees with Disabilities
On 3 December, UNRWA joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year’s global theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all’, celebrates the important contribution persons with disabilities can make in their communities, when given equal opportunities. Removing barriers and facilitating inclusion can empower persons with disabilities to become agents of change in their own lives and communities, striving towards ending exclusion and promoting equality. UNRWA provides physiotherapy treatment and equipment for Palestine refugee children in Khan Dunoun refugee camp in Syria, Ahmad and Ali are among these beneficiaries.
#My Voice-My School is an UNRWA project launched in 2015 and implemented by Digital Explorer to connect schools in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon with schools in Europe and USA through Skype exchanges. Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers explore how education can help them meet their future aspirations. www.unrwa.org/myvoicemyschool
@ShareTheMeal: In April 2016, the World Food Programme launched its phone application to support fundraising efforts for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. ShareTheMeal’s fundraising aims to support 1,400 refugee children. Through the app, smartphone users can join thousands of other people in making donations and support a selected community and monitor progress. Since the launch of the campaign, more than 15 million meals have been shared.
#Unite4Heritage is a global movement run by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world. Launched in response to the unprecedented attacks on world heritage sites, the campaign calls on everyone to stand up against extremism and radicalization by celebrating the places, objects and cultural traditions that make the world such a rich and vibrant place.
#NoLostGeneration: The initiative was launched by UNICEF and partners in 2013 to focus attention on the plight of children affected by the Syrian crisis. By articulating real concerns about the possible ‘loss’ of a generation of children to the effects of violence and displacement, the initiative put education and child protection at the centre of the response inside Syria and across the refugee hosting countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt).
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
UN System agencies :
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria, twitter.com/ocha_syria, facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
UNESCO Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage Project: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/beirut/areas-of-action/culture/syria/emergency-safeguarding-of-the-syrian-heritage/
UNESCO Observatory of Syrian Cultural Heritage https://en.unesco.org/syrian-observatory/
UNESCO Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syria-crisis-response/bridging-learning-gaps/