News / Middle East

Syria's Soaring Temperatures Threaten Children's Health

A boy is seen drinking from a puddle created by a burst water pipe in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal district June 2, 2013.
A boy is seen drinking from a puddle created by a burst water pipe in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal district June 2, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) warns soaring summer temperatures in conflict-ridden Syria and neighboring countries of refuge are putting millions of children at risk of disease.
 
According to UNICEF, overcrowding and worsening hygiene are threatening the health and well-being of some four million children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
 
UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says children inside Syria and in the region lack safe water and good sanitation.  And this, she says, puts them at risk of falling sick with diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, measles and other diseases. 
 
"In Syria, the availability of safe water is one third what it was before the crisis.  There are more than 4.25 million Syrians displaced within the country and the situation is particularly dire for those who live in overcrowded shelters with inadequate, damaged or overwhelmed water and sanitation systems." 
 
Mercado says similarly dire conditions exist in refugee camps like Domiz in Iraq.  She says the camp was built to house around 25,000 people, but now is hosting almost twice that number. She says the outlook for children living under the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions of the camp in scorching heat is very worrisome.
 
She says a similar scenario exists in Jordan's Zaatari camp, home to at least 120,000 Syrian refugees. She says temperatures in both countries are expected to soar to the mid-40s centigrade in the height of the summer.
 
"In Lebanon, multiple families share small apartments or live in makeshift settlements with little access to safe water and basic toilets and poor waste collection. Women and children often walk long distances to collect water that in many cases may be unfit for drinking. As the conflict triggers ever more population movement, UNICEF is accelerating efforts to provide sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, reaching almost nine million people since the beginning of the year." 
 
Mercado says UNICEF is running a shortfall of $124 million for its humanitarian operations for Syrians this year.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid