News from the Field
January 31, 2013
A UNICEF adviser describes what he is seeing in Tartous, in Syria, UNICEF’s work there, and what more needs to be done. While Tartous is an area that has been spared violence, it now houses over 150,000 persons who fled the conflict in other parts of the country. Displaced persons are mainly hosted by community members or living in collective centers. Some have nowhere to stay but in the dark rodent-infested caves of Tartous’ ancient ruins. UNICEF is providing school materials, access to safe water, and hygiene and winter supplies to families.
January 24, 2013
With support from UNICEF, Chad’s Expanded Immunization Program is seeking to reach more and more children, and volunteer workers are critical in the campaign. Toma Mamout is one such outreach volunteer. At the health center where she works, she runs the day-to-day work of the program—from vaccinating children to holding education sessions with mothers. She also gives talks on vaccinations, basic hygiene and the use of mosquito nets in nearby villages, and she travels to talk to mothers in remote communities that have resisted vaccinations.
January 18, 2013
Lebanese communities who have taken Syrian refugees into their homes are setting an example of selflessness and community spirit that the world must match, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow. Ms. Farrow made the remarks following a two-day visit to Lebanon during which she met some of the estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees living in host communities. In response to the crisis, UNICEF Lebanon is stepping up its work, with a focus on providing drinking water and ensuring more Syrian children have access to school and psychosocial services.
January 17, 2013
Hawa, 13, never attended school until she arrived at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp. She had fled with her family from the conflict in Somalia, and there was no functioning school where she lived. After adjusting to her new classroom experience, she has become one of the most vocal advocates of education, encouraging all her friends, especially girls, to attend school. The classroom also offers Hawa a sanctuary from the rigors of life in camp. Her family shares a small stick hut, with no running water, and with little protection against criminals.
January 16, 2013
After Typhoon Bopha passed through the Philippines, UNICEF and the Government of the Philippines carried out assessments of the most affected areas. It immediately became clear that water and sanitation were a problem, with many water sources damaged, destroyed or contaminated. Dirty water can cause diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses, and UNICEF immediately dispatched pre-positioned water and hygiene kits, as well as materials for constructing temporary latrines. Working with NGO partners, UNICEF has so far constructed over 147 latrines.