A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 123/2 December 2015
Special Envoy continues consultations on Vienna process
As part of his ongoing consultations, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura visited Oslo on 1 December at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Norway. The meeting focused on the Vienna process as well as on efforts currently undertaken jointly by the Norwegian, British and German Governments to call for an international donor conference on Syria next February. The Envoy subsequently travelled to Brussels for consultations with European leaders and European Union officials.
UNICEF urges end of attack on civilian infrastructure
In a statement issued on 1 December, UNICEF Representative in Syria Hanaa Singer expressed alarm over airstrikes against the Al-Khafsa water treatment plant in Aleppo. “In Syria, the rules of war, including those meant to protect vital civilian infrastructure, continue to be broken on a daily basis”, she noted. According to UNICEF, the bombing caused severe damage and cut off piped water supplies on which approximately 3.5 million people depend, and more than 1.4 million people in rural Aleppo continue to suffer interruptions to their supply. While noting that the al-Fakseh water facility was one of the most important in Syria, UNICEF reiterated its call on all parties to end all attacks against civilian infrastructure.
UN humanitarian official visits displaced communities in Jordan
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang began a one-week visit to Iraq, Jordan and Turkey on 28 November to assess the humanitarian situation and meet with displaced communities. While in Jordan, she travelled to Ramtha, where she met with border authorities and operational partners. She also travelled to Azraq camp, where she met with aid organizations and refugees affected by the Syria crisis. Ms. Kang expressed appreciation for the support of Jordanian authorities in facilitating cross-border humanitarian operations into southern Syria and their support to the refugees.
UNRWA launches winter fundraising campaign
UNRWA launched on 1 December its annual winter fundraising campaign to raise awareness of the dire situation of Palestine refugees during the winter season, and particularly those who have lost their homes due to conflict. Titled #shareyourwarmth, the campaign aims to raise US$ 2 million to support UNRWA’s efforts for Palestine refugees in Syria, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan during the winter months.
“Palestine refugees face great uncertainty, with many of them lacking adequate shelter and struggling to meet their minimum food needs. These realities will only become more unbearable as they brace themselves for the harsh winter conditions,” warned UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, who appealed to the international community to demonstrate solidarity.
IOM begins resettlement for 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada
The International Organization for Migration announced on 29 November that it had started processing 25,000 Syrian refugees for humanitarian resettlement to Canada.
Working in close cooperation with the Canadian Government, the Jordanian authorities, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Danish Refugee Council, IOM said it hoped that a large proportion of the 25,000 would be resettled before the end of 2015. The agency said that a processing center had been opened in Beirut and another one would soon be opened in Turkey.
UN Radio in Arabic
A significant increase in the number of children and women coming to Europe by sea
#Shareyourwarmth, a campaign launched by UNRWA to support Palestine refugees in Gaza and Syria during the winter
UN Humanitarian official visits Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis
UNHCR launches Syria winter campaign for this year
Al-Sheikha Jawaher, Eminent Advocate for UNHCR, calls for the creation of special shelters for Syrian women and children refugees in need of protection
For the next three weeks the UNHCR #BrighterLives4Refugees campaign with the IKEA Foundation is raising money to bring sustainable lighting and energy to families living in our camps across Asia, Africa and Middle East. 26 November
Ongoing UN social media campaigns:
UNICEF and its partners are committed to keeping Syrian children from becoming a ‘lost generation’. Critical efforts are being made to minimize the impact of the crisis on children – including in the life-saving areas of health, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, as well as in the future of children, through education and child protection.
ShareTheMeal is a smartphone application launched by the UN World Food Programme on 12 November 2015 to support refugee children who have fled the conflict in Syria to neighboring countries. The free app is available for iOS and Android app stores worldwide. Users can make donations and start sharing meals with hungry children. Contributions will benefit Syrian refugee children in Jordan who are part of WFP’s school meals programme.
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
UN System agencies :
UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria , twitter.com/ocha_syria , facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
UN on social media: