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Press release

Amman/Damascus/Brussels, 5 September 2013 – UNICEF welcomed today an announcement by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) of a new, €5 million donation that will benefit Syrian children in Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

The new donation will bring to nearly €16 million ECHO’s contribution to UNICEF’s programmes in response to the Syria crisis. Overall, the European Commission, with its development and humanitarian arms, is UNICEF’s third largest donor to this emergency, contributing some €40 million.

“We are profoundly grateful that ECHO has once again renewed its commitment to the children of Syria as their needs continue to increase both inside the country and out,” says Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This generous contribution will allow us to continue to provide water – which is just as critical as food – and support to children to overcome their trauma.”

The new funds will help provide 2.7 million people – children and their families – with access to safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene services. They will also support child protection programmes that will benefit separated and unaccompanied children and will allow vulnerable children to recover from the psychological impact of the conflict.

“The EU as a whole, with the European Commission and its Member States’ bilateral assistance, is the largest donor in the response to the Syrian crisis with a contribution of over €1.3 billion through partners like UNICEF. It is crucial that these partners have safe access to the millions of people in need inside Syria, and that civilians are granted safe passage within Syria and across its borders,” stresses Marilena Chatziantoniou, the Head of ECHO’s Syria Office.

In June this year, UNICEF announced that it needs more than $470 million for its programmes for Syrian children in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt during the course of this year. These needs remain nearly 40 per cent unmet.



UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

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About European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)

The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2012 alone, it provided over 70 million Euros for UNICEF’s projects worldwide to support children.

For more information on ECHO:

For further information, please visit UNICEF-EU web portal:

For more information, please contact:

  • Melanie Sharpe, UNICEF Jordan, +962-79-631-8253,
  • David Youngmeyer, UNICEF Syria, +962-79-632-6780,
  • Jaya Murthy, UNICEF Iraq, +964 780 1964 524,
  • Heinke Veit, ECHO Regional Office in Amman +962795570203
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