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Al Hassakeh, Syria – 15 October 2014 – As part of Global Handwashing Day activities held around the world this month, UNICEF reached thousands of children in Syria with soap and hygiene-related messages.

The annual Global Handwashing Day – now in its seventh year – is a time to emphasize the role of handwashing with soap in the prevention of common but potentially lethal waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. Children are particularly at risk.

At Al Emam Al Ghazaly School, in Syria’s north-east city of Al Hassakeh, UNICEF and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) reached out to 700 children. SARC volunteers distributed soap and handwashing awareness flyers, along with notebooks, and crayons. Children performed plays which promoted the importance of keeping ones hands clean, particularly in an emergency setting. Children also helped clean their school playground.

UNICEF, with financial support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), produced 420,000 leaflet and posters which were distributed to internally displaced people and host communities around the country, including school children, to raise awareness on improved hygiene practices.

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