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Tag Archives: emergencies

Join us for a Hangout on the Crisis in Syria

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— Join us on Thursday, February 28, at 10:00 AM EST, for a Google+ Hangout with Ted Chaiban, the director of Emergency Programs for UNICEF. Ted Chaiban has just come back from Syria, and will report firsthand on the impact the violence there has had on children.

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Fleeing the Floods in Mozambique

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— We are in the Chiaquelane camp near Chokwe, the city in Mozambique that was devastated by the flooding of the Limpopo River. Most of the city’s 70,000 residents escaped with whatever they could grab, as violent waters engulfed their homes.
Arsenia is 15 years old, and the day the waters came, Arsenia fled her home with three aunts and 12 cousins, most of them under the age of ten.
With no tent for shelter, Arsenia and her family spend long days at Chiaquelane exposed to the elements, come hellish heat or rain. But things are getting better at the camp. Even morning classes have started, a relief for Arsenia, who says she misses school and her schoolbooks.

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Report from Za’atari Refugee Camp

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— For most families, choosing to leave Syria is not a difficult decision. I spoke to several men and women at Za’atari refugee camp whose houses were destroyed by shells or bombs in the conflict. None of these people wanted to move to a refugee camp, but to escape the violence, they literally had nowhere else to go. Most families cross into Jordan illegally. They are picked up on the other side of the border and are taken to Za’atari.

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Helping Children Heal During Wartime

Syrian refugees in Za'atari refugee camp

— Jane MacPhail is a UNICEF Child Protection Specialist. She makes the 1 1/2 hour journey to Za’atari every day. Jane works with children to draw and imagine a world without war. “Syrian children have been through too much,” she says. “Over the course of the past 22 months, children witnessed war, shelling, injuries and torture. They have had to leave their homes and country with the little they could carry. They’ve lost a sense of identity and hope.”

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Field Diary: Winter in Battle-Scarred Homs

A UNICEF staff member talks with children at a displaced persons shelter in Homs. ©UNICEF/Syria 2012

Mark Choonoo, UNICEF Emergency Specialist, was in Homs recently and shares his first-hand account on the situation there and the impact the destruction wrought by the conflict has on children and families.
It’s bitterly cold, with overnight temperatures dropping to below freezing. Many children I saw were wearing only light clothes and sandals, or only socks without shoes. All the children I talked to complained about the cold. Many expressed sadness about friends who had gone away and not returned, but despite all of this, they seemed happy to be home.

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Mia Farrow Reports from Lebanon

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow views flood damage in Haiti in 2008. ©UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0738/Roger LeMoyne

— UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow is in Lebanon to meet refugees from the conflict in Syria, as the needs and numbers of those fleeing continue to rise. She is blogging from the field, and you can follow her posts at http://unicef.tumblr.com/. She will also be participating in a Twitter chat tomorrow. During her visit, Ms. Farrow will travel to two locations close to the Syrian border, and will speak with both refugees and host families. In addition, she will visit UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces, where children who have witnessed the horrors of the conflict receive psychosocial support and counseling.

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