Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

UNICEF Urges Parties in Geneva to Put Syria’s Children First | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55368094

Children play in a damaged school bus in the rebel held besieged town of Jesreen, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Damascus, Amman- UNICEF’s Regional Director Geert Cappelaere has urged parties at the Geneva talks to join efforts and put children of Syria first, adding that nearly two million children remain largely cut-off from urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

Cappelaere’s statement coincided with the launching of Syrian talks in Geneva. He said: “The heart-wrenching image of a young boy screaming for his father just minutes after losing both his legs in an apparent assault in Idlib last week is another brutal reminder that children continue to come under attack in Syria’s conflict.”

“Since the start of this year, at least 20 children have reportedly been killed in attacks and many more injured, including a one-day old baby girl injured when her home was shelled in Rural Damascus. In addition, nearly 2 million children remain largely cut-off from urgently needed humanitarian assistance,” he added.

The statement also said: “The numbers are a grim indication that the cessation in hostilities announced last December has yet to result in real gains in protection and humanitarian assistance for all children in Syria. So far this year, only three inter-agency missions have reached children in need in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.”

“The immeasurable cost in lives and suffering should shame the world into taking immediate action in finding a political solution to the war. Parties to the conflict must provide immediate, unconditional, and sustained access to all children in need across the country. Sieges must end. The removal of life saving supplies from convoys is unacceptable, as is the use of water as a weapon of war,” Cappelaere continued.

“The more than 10 million Syrian children suffering directly and daily the consequences of this vicious conflict want only one thing: peace to come and having their childhood back,” he added.