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UNICEF Calls for Immediate Action

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UNICEF Calls for Immediate Action

Syrian refugees on the border of Lebanon, 2014

Syrian refugees on the border of Lebanon. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Over ISK 8 million has been collected for Syrian children in just two weeks since UNICEF launched its emergency appeal.

UNICEF Iceland launched its emergency appeal for children from Syria two weeks ago and the ISK 8 million (EUR 55,500/USD 62,890) is in addition to the ISK 35 million (EUR 242,840/USD 275,140) collected since UNICEF Iceland first launched its Syria war appeal in autumn 2012.

Bergsteinn Jónsson, director of UNICEF Iceland, says his team members are incredibly thankful to the many people who have taken positive action to help Syrian children through the horrors they have suffered. “The debate and actions which have started within society recently are also for the good. We unreservedly welcome the fact that people want to help children and people who are fleeing,” Bergsteinn told Vísir.

Donations to UNICEF Iceland’s emergency appeal go to one of the biggest emergency responses the organization has ever been involved in: the battle to help children in need which is being conducted by national branches of UNICEF in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

A statement says that UNICEF welcomes increased involvement being promised by European leaders to support refugees and those in search of a better, safer life—but adds that the promises must be followed up by immediate action by all EU member states to protect refugee children. More than a quarter of refugees now arriving in Europe are children.

“Children cannot wait and the winter is fast approaching. The longer children go without support and protection, without shelter over their heads or access to health services and psychological support, the more likely children are to die from pneumonia or fall victim to other preventable damage,” Bergsteinn says.

UNICEF is the United Nations’ children’s fund and is one of a number of charities collecting for Syria in Iceland.

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