UNICEF says hundreds of thousands in Homs desperate for aid

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Some 420,000 people -- half of them children -- in Syria's Homs province are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, the UN's children's agency (UNICEF) said Friday (February 1st).

"These people need life-saving assistance," UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told AFP, adding that many of the 420,000 people in need of help were living in "shelters with blasted-in windows:"

"It's extremely cold, and you have 20 to 25 families in a room. These are harsh conditions for kids," she said, adding that an acute lack of access to safe water and hygiene facilities coupled with children missing vaccinations was a recipe for disaster.

UNICEF staff took part in a UN joint mission to the devastated area last month, which determined that in addition to those most in need of aid, another 280,000 people were severely affected by the conflict.

Nearly one in three people in Homs, or some 635,000 people, had been displaced, Mercado said, adding that two-thirds of the displaced were under the age of 18.

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    غاده عبد الرازق

    2013-2-5

    From time to time, the Saudi State takes humanitarian initiatives towards the Arab countries which we witness. We are witnessing the huge amounts of humanitarian aids which are sent to Jordan to care for the brotherly Syrian refugees. Such initiatives boost the solidarity between the Arab nations. I hope that all Arab peoples realize the importance of such material aids as blankets and tents for the refugees. The latter would feel that Saudis are generous. They would remember such favor for the rest of their lives. Indeed, the Syrians are expected to show gratitude towards Saudi Arabia. Could you imagine the future of the Arab relations if all nations take such decisions? The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, said: “The true Muslims show solidarity to each other”. I hope that all Arab nations understand the message.

  • امال الابراهيمى

    2013-2-4

    The fact that you have managed to count the exact number of the besieged people means that you could find the appropriate solutions. The number of the besieged children in Syria amounts to a quarter million. Explicitly, we do not want eloquent speeches. Indeed, the children in Homs and other cities are exposed to violent confrontations perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad. The house roofs are not fit for habitation at all especially in the bitter cold during the wintertime. The bombings, explosions and raids have destroyed the windows. Still worse, there is severe lack of drinking water in the region. However, all these scourges are meaningless compared to the panic and the scare which is marring the lives of the children. For this reason, the international community is supposed to provide urgent aids for the Syrian children and their families in Homs and Iraq. They should rely on their own reports and ensure direct and immediate implementation.

  • فيكتور سلامة

    2013-2-4

    We all know well that the crisis in Syria witnessed crimes against humanity and against the Syrian people, who found that the only chance before them is to escape from these crimes that are committed everyday. The Syrians escape to the neighboring states including Lebanon. Many Syrian refugees live near the Syrian-Lebanese borders in camps prepared by the Lebanese military forces as an aid to the Syrians who suffer from a crisis. However, what happened last Friday is totally unacceptable. An unknown group attacked the Lebanese border guards. Surprisingly, this is not the first attack, but it is one of a series of attacks in the area of the Lebanese-Syrian borders since the eruption of the conflict between the Syrians and their ruler Bashar Al-Asad. I think that we need more investigations because 6 people were killed in this attack including five from the Lebanese army and one from the attacking group, and it was discovered that he is wanted because of many complaints against him in many cases. I think the officials must be more cautious to avoid such clashes in the future. We do not more human losses.

  • فراس كاسر

    2013-2-3

    There is no power but from God. The current situation in Syria, especially in the city of Homs, is really lamentable. Indeed, thousands of children are left without any drop of water to survive. I do admit that we should keep hopeful but we realize that the tragedy is actually shocking. There are still some families in Syria which could not provide drinking water, or other vital needs for human life. The UNICEF is supposed to count the number of the Syrian citizens which are in urgent need for humanitarian aid. The displaced Syrians are exposed to the bitter cold during the wintertime. Unfortunately, none seems to care about them. For this reason, I call on the international community to collect donations to save these families.