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U.S. Fund for UNICEF issues urgent appeal for Syrian children affected by armed conflict and severe weather

With only $32.10, UNICEF can provide warm clothing for a child

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fund for UNICEF released a PSA yesterday appealing for immediate assistance for children fleeing Syria, following a series of recent reports from the country describing the terrible price children are paying due to the civil war. Of the estimated two million Syrians displaced inside the country, and the 620,000 people who have fled to neighboring countries, roughly half are children.

The PSA implores people to help UNICEF keep children safe and warm. The 70 second spot combines stirring music, emotionally powerful still photos from the affected region, and messages conveyed through typed graphics to illustrate the urgency and direness of the situation for children.

Having fled shelling and bombs, more than 2.6 million displaced Syrians now face a new fight for survival as temperatures drop. Without shelter, winter can be lethal, especially for young children. In a region where temperatures can plummet to freezing, children are still wearing the light clothing in which they were dressed when they fled their homes last summer. Shelter, too, is an issue as many of them are living in makeshift tents. Warmer clothes, shoes, and blankets are needed to protect them from rain, strong winds and the cold.

UNICEF is appealing for $68.5 million during the first six months of 2013 to address the immediate, life-saving needs of children in Syria. A donation of $32.10 can provide one child with warm clothing, including a thermal bodysuit, gloves and a hat. 

UNICEF, alongside a network of more than 40 NGO partners, has been on the ground since the onset of the crisis, reaching hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Even in areas of conflict, children are being vaccinated, temporary schools are being set up, and families are being fed and sheltered.  UNICEF has provided more than 260,000 people with winter supplies including warm children's clothes, blankets, mattresses, bed sheets, and cooking stoves.

Since last year, UNICEF has called on all parties to ensure civilians–and children especially–are spared the effects of the conflict. Still, media reports from last week tell of mass killings in the village of Hasawiya outside Homs. Whole families were among the dead. Additionally, two explosions targeting Aleppo University last week were reported to have killed more than 80 people, including many students.

For more information on the situation of Syrian children, follow the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on Twitter at: @unicefusa or #childrenofsyria, and on Facebook at: UNICEF USA. To view the PSA, visit http://youtu.be/vCGoogtz4oU.

How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Website: www.unicefusa.org/syria 
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038

As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.

About UNICEF
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF

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