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EU water2

DAMASCUS/BRUSSELS-10 December 2015 – As parties to the Syrian conflict continue to use deliberate water cuts for military and political gains with devastating implications on civilians, over 700,000 people in Aleppo city have gained access to water through a UNICEF/EU partnership.

The latest €5.5 million contribution from the European Commission has enabled UNICEF to deploy a large-scale and life-saving response to the water crisis in Aleppo.

“These funds from the European Commission came at such a critical time. It allowed UNICEF to provide immediate life-saving activities in the war -torn city, while simultaneously supporting sustainable alternative water sources to build population resilience and reduce their dependency on the increasingly fragile primary water supply system,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria.

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, faces the most critical water shortages in the entire country.  This summer, Aleppo’s main water network was shut down for 41 days – the longest cut for more than two consecutive weeks. Water shortages significantly raise the risk of epidemic outbreaks and diseases particularly among children.

In response to the recurrent water shortages in Aleppo, UNICEF trucked 10 million litres of water reaching 700,000 people on a daily basis.  Water has since returned to large parts of the city following provision of fuel by UNICEF to run standby power for water supply to 2.1 million residents of the City.   In neighbourhoods still cut off from the main water source, UNICEF continues to truck two million litres of water a day.

“The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria has reached a staggering 13.5 million, including six million children. The European Commission is committed to supporting life-saving, protection and sustained humanitarian interventions across various sectors including health, WASH, and child protection to help the suffering populations build up their resilience against crises,” said Youcef Hammache, Head of Syria Office, European Commission.

This additional contribution brings the total European Commission humanitarian support to UNICEF inside Syria to € 11.5 million in 2015. Since the start of the crisis, the European Commission has been one of UNICEF’s most valued partners having contributed €25 million for 2012-2015 for UNICEF work inside Syria.

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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.

For more information visit: http://www.unicef.org/eu/

About the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)

The European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world. The Commission’s humanitarian assistance is based 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

For more information, please contact:

Juliette Touma, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Office, jtouma@unicef.org, +962 79 867 4628

Shushan Mebrahtu, UNICEF Syria, shmebrahtu@unicef.org, +963 992 892 864

Youcef Hammache, Head of European Commission’ Syria Office for humanitarian aid, Youcef.Hammache@echofield.eu

(Direct) Lebanon: +961(1) 569 400 – Ext: 118

(Mobile) Lebanon: +961 78 956 544

(Mobile) Jordan : + 962 798 21 1081

(Mobile)  Syria: +963 94 888 8641

 

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