Happy Eid. Don’t forget us

By Chris Niles ERBIL, Iraq, 20 October 2013 —The Muslim holiday of Eid is traditionally a time for family gatherings, feasting and celebration, one that has extra significance for children. On Tuesday morning, the first day of the four-day holiday last week, Kawergosk refugee camp is quiet. At home, before the conflict, extended families would […]

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Children and families trapped in Al Waer, Homs, face dramatic worsening of humanitarian conditions

Field Diary By Abdulkadir Musse, Senior Emergency Specialist, UNICEF HOMS, 9 October 2013 – An eerie calm descends over Al Waer, a suburb on the north-western outskirts of the city of Homs, as we enter this area that is home to some 400,000 people caught in the middle of on-going conflict. I am part of […]

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Journey of a schoolbag in Za’atari

ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 8 October 2013 — This week UNICEF Jordan together with partner Save the Children Jordan are finishing the distribution of school bags and supplies to students at Za’atari School 2. Throughout the summer, School 2 was running catch up classes for children who had missed school, so first semester started at the beginning of […]

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UNICEF emergency education support in Tartous, western Syria

TARTOUS, Syria, 7 October 2013 — Many children in Syria face extraordinary challenges to continuing their education. The on-going conflict has left almost 4,000 schools – or around one in five – damaged, destroyed or sheltering internally displaced families. Some 2 million children in Syria have been displaced. 

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Improving community support and spirit for vulnerable families across Jordan

By Toby Fricker ZARQA, Jordan, 30 September 2013 — The sound of children singing can just be heard above the steady rumble of traffic. “I wonder if it’s your face that is glowing or the moon above the trees,” they sing. It’s a traditional Arab folk song. This is Zarqa, a busy and bustling city, just […]

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You reach the point where you don’t care about anything at all

By Chris Niles ERBIL, Iraq, 30 September 2013 —Visiting a refugee camp is a very personal experience for Maulid Warfa. “It’s like going back in time,” he says. UNICEF Iraq’s South Zone Chief is based in Basra, but he’s come north to help with the influx of more than 61,000 refugees who have arrived from […]

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With gaps in their education, girl refugees worry about their future

By Chris Niles ERBIL, Iraq 30 September 2013 — Imagine what it’s like to sit idle all day; with trauma behind you, and uncertainty ahead. Too many children and young people are playing a waiting game in Baherka refugee camp in northern Iraq, wondering what the future holds. 

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WASH “Information saves lives,” mapping the needs in Iraq’s refugee camps

By Chris Niles ERBIL, Iraq 24 September 2013 — Feces is a favourite topic of conversation for Ximena Contla, and she’s the first to admit that this can sometimes make her a poor dining companion.

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Adla: A teenage girl with no change of clothes

Among the more than 60,000 people who have crossed the border in that time is Adla Rasol, 15, who came with her mother and father and seven brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 19 to three.

Their flight was sudden. They walked to the border, bringing only the things that they could carry.

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A mother wishes for peace for her children’s sake

By Chris Niles ERBIL, Iraq, 18 September 2013—Shereen’s youngest child is named Ayenda, which she says means ‘future’. The mother of two is worried about Ayenda, who is seven months old and has diarrhea. Two trips to a clinic in Kawergosk refugee camp have not cured her. 

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Support for Syrian children who arrive at Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan – alone

By Melanie Sharpe UNICEF and partners are working to identify and protect Syrian children who have taken the perilous journey to Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan – alone. ZA’ATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan, 20 September 2013 – At a protection centre for Syrian children who arrive at Za’atari refugee camp by themselves, 12-year-old Ahmad* smiles, rubs his […]

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UN assessment mission assesses humanitarian needs in Syria’s Dara’a city

By Mohamad Kanawati DARA’A, Syria, 17 September 2013 — I was part of a UNICEF team that joined with five other UN agencies on a recent humanitarian assessment mission to Syria’s south. The aim was to assess the situation in Dara’a, deliver emergency supplies, and meet with partner agencies. 

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