Eddie visits a Syrian refugee camp
10 Jul 2013
Eddie made the journey to Domiz camp for Syrian refugees in the North of Iraq with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation and one of the few international humanitarian agencies operating in both Syria and all the neighbouring countries.
The camp was originally designed for 15,000 people and is now crammed with 45,000.
Eddie met vast numbers of children and their families who have fled Syria for Iraq, where summer temperatures are now hitting 45 degrees.
The number of people entering the country has tripled over the past six months and it is likely to double again by the end of the year to 350,000.
You can see Eddie's report from the camp - sky.com
During his time in the camp Eddie, who has just become an Ambassador for UNICEF UK after actively supporting and advocating for the children’s charity’s work for the last two years, explained;
“Syrian children across the region have lost everything. I’ve heard refugee children in Iraq tell how they fled horrific violence and how they lost loved ones, their homes and their schools. They arrived here with only their clothes on their back. The plight of refugee children in Iraq has so far been a hidden and unreported crisis, but it desperately needs attention.”
UNICEF says families are in desperate need of support as they struggle to source even basic supplies like clean water. The conditions of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries like Lebanon and Jordan have hit headlines, but the desperate conditions of Syrian refugees in Iraq is an untold story.
Among the children Eddie met was 10 year old Muhammed, who was driven fromDamascus by fighting and lived on the streets with his mother and three brothers and sisters before fleeing to Iraq.
He is out of school and does not have enough clean water to drink.
“Children are living in crowded conditions and searing heat under canvas, without the basic necessities they need to stay healthy and continue their education,”
“UNICEF wants to deliver water to everyone who needs it and get every child into school - but numbers are huge and resources are at breaking point.”
Eddie visited one of the 3 schools in the camp and saw some summer school activities, including a music class. He also went to the Child Friendly Space - a safe area for children to enjoy playing and taking part in sports such as football, which is hugely popular with them.
The number of children fleeing Syria for neighbouring countries is continuing to grow, with the number of child refugees soon set to hit 1 million.
“In Iraq, and across the region, the children of Syria urgently need our support, if we don’t bring in more funds now, Syria’s children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.”
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For more information about UNICEF, visit their website http://www.unicef.org.uk