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AMMAN, Jordan, 25 November 2014 – The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has contributed an additional €4 million (approximately $5 million USD) to UNICEF’s emergency response supporting children affected by the on-going conflict inside Syria, and in neighboring Jordan.

ECHO has provided $51.8 million USD to UNICEF’s response to the Syria crisis since 2012. Syria has received $23 million USD and Jordan has received $20.8 million USD.

The new funds will provide essential health and water and sanitation services for internally displaced people within Syria and water and sanitation services for children and their families in neighbouring Jordan.

“We are grateful to ECHO, who has been working hand-in-hand with UNICEF since the beginning of the Syria crisis,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This timely contribution will provide clean water to millions of displaced and refugee Syrian children, as well as basic health care services that vulnerable children need. It is this sustained support that has mitigated the spread of waterborne diseases and epidemics across the sub-region.”

Throughout 2014, the ECHO-UNICEF partnership has provided approximately 2.5 million children under the age of five inside Syria with polio vaccinations, four million people with access to water and hygiene supplies and 700,000 with access to improved health services.

Funds provided by ECHO are saving people’s lives, like Rihab and her family who were forced to flee their home in Aleppo last winter and now live in an unfinished building in another part of the city. Despite the danger, local health volunteers have managed to vaccinate every child in their area.

In Jordan, 145,000 people in camps and host communities have access to safe and sufficient amounts of water for drinking and domestic use, and 4,200 vulnerable children, including children who are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families have received child protection services and psycho-social support.

“Nearly 6.5 million children have been affected by the war in Syria”, said David Verboom, Head of ECHO’s regional office in Amman. “They are the most vulnerable, yet many youngsters are being denied access to the most basic things that we take for granted, like clean water and health services. Through our important partnership with UNICEF, we are supporting life-saving projects to alleviate their suffering. It is especially important to provide help now as winter will be a real struggle for families.”

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About the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
The European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world. The Commission’s assistance relies on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The European Commission is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2013 alone, it provided almost €100 million for UNICEF projects to help children.

For more information visit: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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