The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is on the verge of freezing its program of assistance to the children of Syria. This is certainly shocking news. Money is pouring in the coffers of terrorist organizations and various armed groups in the world. Wealthy members of the Muslim Brotherhood in all parts of the world are living in comfort and are content with the privileges and money being collected for them. But the UNICEF is facing the threat of ending its work due to the lack of money and support. It is unable to achieve its humanitarian goals anymore.
UNICEF announced a week ago that the huge shortfall in funding could deprive about 9 million Syrian children of UN aid. UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Kapalari said the funding gap is $220 million, adding that the crisis is the worst for the organization since the launch of its operations in Syria.
According to UNICEF, the humanitarian needs in Syria and neighboring areas are growing and host communities are facing the risk of being unable to meet the demands. Records show about 6 million children need help in Syria, as well as another 2.5 million who have found temporary shelter in neighboring countries. Kapalari said the huge funding gap threatens to close several aid programs, including the provision of potable water and sanitation services to 1.2 million children living in camps, settlements and host communities, and provision of healthcare and basic feeding services to 5.4 million children, including those living in besieged and inaccessible areas of Syria.
He added the risk will include financial support for families, which allows them to keep 500,000 children in schools. The distribution of clothing and blankets in winter is another factor. UNICEF said it has received only 25 percent of the $1.4 billion needed from the donor countries for emergency operations in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
According to UN statistics, one billion children live in conflict areas, including nearly 300 million children under the age of five. This is indeed a tragedy and we are responsible not only to save these children, but also to stop wars and conflicts in the Arab and Muslim world because we seem to be the only ones fighting. It is not only regrettable, but a disgrace to a world that is generous in the disbursement of money for cars and clothing, but very treacherous with childhood and humanity!
The Syrian child lives in unstable political and economic conditions, which reflects on his life and makes him go through worse situations than those in which his counterparts live in the rest of the world, including the wider Arab world. An international campaign must be launched to commit all UN organizations to provide financial support, and UNICEF needs to review child-related decisions and recruitment of children in wars.
Where are the ambassadors of UNICEF – representatives and actresses – both Arabs and foreigners? Why are they hiding their heads now? Where are the foreign ambassadors of UNICEF? Are they absent because the children of Syria are Muslims and Arabs? What they are doing?
People also need to be aware to not give money to unknown and possibly terrorist organizations or even people who could be connected with these groups – it is like giving money to kill more innocents. Clearly, awareness of the seriousness of the issue of lost childhood is absent, and everyone is to blame if we let UNICEF end its aid.
By Muna Al-Fuzai