News from the Field
November 13, 2012
The Za'atari camp is home to thousands of refugees who have fled violence in the Syrian Arab Republic. But life in the dessert can be trying: Some infants have difficulty breathing during dust storms, and parents struggle to keep cooking utensils clean. Yet all newborns are vaccinated, and are monitored by UNICEF for malnutrition. School-age children are returning to class, and UNICEF and partners are working to expand the camp’s school. The approaching winter is also a concern, and UNICEF is accelerating plans to prepare the camp for winter.
November 12, 2012
Monday, November 12 marks the fourth World Pneumonia Day. Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children under five years old and killed 1.3 million children in 2011. Yet, the disease is easily and cheaply prevented: 1.56 million lives can be saved in five years by increasing the availability of the antibiotic amoxicillin. Handwashing with soap and water reduces the incidence of pneumonia by 23%. With effective action, within a lifetime, the chances of a child surviving pneumonia could be the same in Niger or Ethiopia as they are in New York.
November 9, 2012
Monsoon rains have caused flooding across 15 districts in Pakistan. Over 5 million people are affected, and there are dire needs for shelter, food, water, healthcare and education. Floods in Pakistan over the past three years have been particularly severe for millions of children. In the aftermath of flood emergencies, children become disproportionately susceptible to diseases and malnutrition, and may be unable to attend school. UNICEF and partners plan to provide emergency education services to over 21,000 children.
November 8, 2012
Hundreds of thousands of families in ten provinces of Angola have been severely hit by drought this year. According to the Government of Angola, this year at least 500,000 children under five could suffer from global acute malnutrition in this area. The Government has developed a plan for an integrated response to the crisis. By the beginning of November, with the support of UNICEF and other partners, about 2,000 community health activists will have been trained to identify malnutrition and to guide families on treatment and prevention.
November 7, 2012
It is estimated that more than 100,000 Syrian refugees are now in Lebanon. Accessing basic necessities is difficult, particularly water and sanitation facilities, and children living in these areas are at high risk of disease. UNICEF and partners are running a water voucher program to meet the emergency drinking water needs of families across the Bekaa Valley. Families also need better sanitation facilities and hygiene supplies, and UNICEF will distribute jerry cans, ceramic water filters, buckets and water purification tablets.