Photo of boy pulled from rubble reminder of 'unimaginable horrors' Syrian children face: UNICEF

    Photo of boy pulled from rubble reminder of 'unimaginable horrors' Syrian children face: UNICEF

    Aug.21, Geneva: The heart breaking photograph of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy sitting alone in an ambulance with his face and body covered in blood and dirt after being pulled from a destroyed building has reminded the world, yet again, of the unimaginable horrors that Syrian children face every day, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

    “No child in Syria [is] safe while the conflict drags on,” Christophe Boulierac, a spokesperson for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) told the press at a regular briefing in Geneva, referring to the photograph which went viral on social media yesterday and has galvanized world attention to the suffering in Aleppo, Syria's iconic second city.

    “More than 3.7 million Syrian children under the age of five know nothing but displacement, violence and uncertainty,” he added underscoring the sheer desperation of the situation facing them and millions more in need of humanitarian aid in Syria and neighbouring countries.

    According to UNICEF, the situation in Aleppo has continued to deteriorate in the past two weeks. It is particularly dire for civilians living in eastern parts of the city where taps have gone dry and the population, including approximately 100,000 children, rely on water from wells potentially contaminated by faecal matter and are unsafe to drink.

    Heavy fighting and escalation of violence since 4 August have also prevented technicians from repairing the severely-damaged electricity and water systems.

    Furthermore, children living in those parts also face risks of outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

    In the midst of this situation, the UN children's agency has been able to deliver 300,000 litres of fuel to water pumping stations in western parts of Aleppo, providing water to some 1.2 million people. It has also provided water purification tablets and suppled four million litres of drinking water, via trucks, on a daily basis to the western parts of the city.

    However, these supplies were “not enough and it was not a solution,” said Mr. Boulierac

    “It [is] critical for UNICEF to be able to reach all parts of the war-torn city and to provide much needed assistance,” he stressed, reiterating the agency's call on all parties to the conflict to immediately allow safe and protected access for technicians to conduct urgent repairs to restore electricity and water networks.

    “The fighting [must be] stopped in order to do that,” he underlined.

    The Oslo Times International News Network